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    A Chinese tourist takes a photo while wearing a face mask in Tiananmen Square as heavy air pollution continues to shroud Beijing on February 26, 2014

    Beijing Shuts Down Over 1,000 Factories for Polluting Environment

    © AFP 2017/ Mark RALSTON
    Asia & Pacific
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    The Beijing authorities have closed 1,006 enterprises for polluting environment over the past five years, Chinese media reported Friday.

    BEIJING (Sputnik) — According to Beijing Mayor Wang Anshun, as quoted by the Xinhua news agency, the municipal government has additionally closed 228 marketplaces during this period and rejected over 13,000 applications to establish new businesses.

    Earlier in January, the Beijing authorities said they intended to close 2,500 enterprises in 2016 under the city's environmental program.

    The Chinese government has plans to significantly reduce the volume of carbon emissions by reducing the use of coal, and intends phase out the use of coal-powered heating in Beijing by 2020.

    China remains the world's largest source of carbon emissions and air pollution, with air quality in major cities far below international standards.

    According to a recent survey conducted by physicists from the University of California, 1.6 million people in China die annually from diseases related to air pollution, meaning that air pollution kills on average about 4,000 people in the country each day.

    In December 2015, the Chinese capital’s authorities twice declared the highest level — red — of ecological danger, due to huge volume of small pollutant particles known as PM2.5 in the air. These particles are attributed to coal use and are capable of penetrating deep into the lungs and causing asthma and bronchitis and of exacerbating other acute respiratory diseases, leading to premature death.

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