Business / Green China

Smog a 'two sessions' concern for China's provinces

(Xinhua) Updated: 2014-01-21 11:27

NANNING - In a mountainous, woody part of South China, people are talking about the same problem facing the Chinese capital thousands of miles away - smog.

Unlike pollution-dogged Beijing, smog is new to Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, which has long boasted a good natural environment. After several bouts of hazy weather gripped the region last year, alarmed locals brought the issue to this year's "two sessions."

At the annual session of the region's political consultative conference, which is being held along with the legislative meeting, haze has been a heated topic.

"Nanning (capital of Guangxi) used to be famous for its clean air, but after looking at the city's air quality readings last year, it's hard to be optimistic," said Jiang Hongbing, vice head of the provincial supervision department and a political advisor.

The region reported 92 days of air pollution last year, and even as Jiang proposed greater government efforts to clean up air on Friday, the city of Nanning was shrouded in dense smog that shot up the pollution level to "serious."

Jiang said worsening air quality had increasingly affected the livelihood of locals, and the government "should act before things get really serious."

There were similar discussions at the ongoing political consultative conference of Central China's Hubei province, which has seen four proposals on smog control, compared with only one in 2013.

Smog is a chronic problem in Hubei, where each winter has recorded more than 12 smoggy days since 2004, but the situation got worse last year, according to political advisor Li Hong. Hubei's capital city of Wuhan, for instance, recorded 156 days of air pollution last year.

"(People in Hubei) feel the problems of Beijing and Shanghai are now happening around us," said Li, who is the vice head of the provincial supervision department.

The serious situation has even sent smog into Hubei's government report for the first time. Delivered at the legislative conference, the report called for "high attention" on urban smog and for enhancing pollution control and monitoring measures.

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