320px-Factory_in_ChinaLEXIE TUCKER WRITER – Even as all eyes were on Singapore and the blanket of Sumatran smoke choking the island, mainland China’s State Council was taking steps to help clear that country’s air.

According to local media reports, the council approved several specific measures to fight further air pollution, a big step, they say, that shows a government resolved to improve both living standards and the environment. Previously, Chinese leadership had only promised (on many occasions) that efforts were being made to save resources and limit pollution.

At the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) last November, party bigwigs declared ecological growth a long-term mission of extreme importance to the people’s welfare and country’s future. Further, last May at a meeting of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, President Xi Jinping said China would not surrender the environment for brief economic growth.

The State Council’s latest air pollution policies are an application of these principles, according to Chinese media reports. These policies are said to include new restrictions on energy hogging industries, and harsher punishment for polluters. Legislation may also be strengthened in ways that could make the government more competent, and environmental reports more thorough.

One can hope these changes will result in a future of clearer skies in China’s biggest cities.

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http://usa.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2013-06/16/content_16626797.htm

http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2013-06/14/content_16618786.htm