China sees good start in battle against pollution: Minister

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China has pushed forward pollution control in the past year, and secured a good start in the tough battle against pollution between 2018-2020, the country's Ecology and Environment Minister Li Ganjie said Sunday.

"The ecological environment witnessed continuous improvement in the past year," Li told reporters on the sidelines of the second session of the 13th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference.

In 338 major Chinese cities, the average density of PM2.5, a key indicator of air pollution, dropped 9.3 percent year on year in 2018.

The PM2.5 density in Beijing dropped 12.1 percent last year, following a 20.5-percent decline in 2017, he said.

Water quality also improved last year, with an increase in surface water of relatively good quality and a slight drop in surface water of the poorest quality, the minister said.

"Generally speaking, all the targets and indicators for environmental protection have been successfully delivered last year, and met the timetable required by the 13th Five-Year Plan," Li said.

The progress showed that China is on the right course of pollution control, and "we should be full of confidence," Li said.

However, there are still quite a few difficulties and challenges for the tough battle against pollution, he added.

In the next stage, the ministry will focus on the control of air pollution, control of pollution by diesel-fueled trucks, protection and restoration of the Yangtze River ecological environment, comprehensive treatment of pollution in the Bohai Sea, cleaning up of black and stinky water bodies in cities, protection of water sources, and fighting pollution in agriculture and rural areas, he said. 

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