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    A woman wearing a mask for protection against air pollution walks on a pedestrian overhead bridge in Beijing as the capital of China is shrouded by heavy smog on Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2016

    China Slams Provinces for 'Deception' in Nation's Fight Against Pollution

    © AP Photo / Andy Wong
    Asia & Pacific
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    China’s president Xi Jinping highlighted in October that fighting pollution was the country’s key task through 2020. While polluting factories in China have been under great scrutiny, the government has designed a plan to introduce a system that will bind polluters to “repair damage to the environment or pay compensation.”

    Chinese officials have harshly criticized the province of Shandong for using forged and false data to evade capacity cuts in polluting coal, aluminum, steel and chemical sectors back in 2014 and accused another province, Jilin, of lying about closing golf courses, which it was supposed to do in 2011.

    China has already shuttered polluting factories and dispatched teams of inspectors to 8 provinces, uncovering a total of 40,706 incidents of environmental damage. As for the province of Jilin, the officials kept telling Beijing that the golf courses were closed – as part of central government’s crackdown on illegal courses – when in fact they were not. The point of this “hunting” was to save water resources and protect farmlands.

    READ MORE: China Unveils Human 'Smog Tasters' to Tackle Air Pollution

    The authorities have called the two provinces’ inactions “deception” in the national environment fight, putting a premium on the lack of awareness of environmental issues in the country among local officials; an estimated 1,268 officials in Shandong province were held accountable for cases of environmental damage.

    China released a green development index on Tuesday with an eye to pressuring local governments to reduce pollution. Shandong is reportedly ranked 18th among the 31 provinces and regions of China.

    READ MORE: Domestic Pollution Problems Force China to Stay Strong on Climate Change

    Infamous pollution in China is one of the most pressing environmental issues, and China’s drastic economic growth has largely contributed to the extensive air pollution. Recently, the country has taken a proactive approach in a bid to regulate environmental laws and shut down tens of thousands of polluting factories.

    Tags:
    pollution, environment, Xi Jinping, China
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