Hebei Province Key In China’s War Against Smog
David Stanway at Reuters reports that in China’s newly declared “war against pollution,” the “battle lines are already being drawn between Beijing and Hebei, the province most synonymous with dirty air“:
A succession of Hebei officials used the annual session of parliament in Beijing this month to urge the central government to boost subsidies to help with job losses and other costs from mandated cuts in industrial production across the country. One local official said Hebei was taking on too much of the burden.
The pleas came after Premier Li Keqiang, in his opening address to parliament on March 5, declared war on pollution in an attempt to head off growing anger over the quality of China’s air, water and soil.
Hebei, which surrounds Beijing in the country’s north, was home to seven of China’s 10 most polluted cities last year. Researchers blame its steel, coal and cement plants for some of the hazardous smog that increasingly envelops the capital.
[...] Gao Hongzhi, the Communist Party secretary of Handan, a key steel producing city, said Hebei was contributing 75 percent of the national reduction in steel capacity when it accounted for only a quarter of total output. [Source]
Read more about air pollution in China via CDT.