More than 1,500 factories in southern China had been closed down in the past
three years due to the pollution and environmental hazards they posed.
The clampdown was part of Guangdong province's measures
to combat worsening pollution in the booming Pearl River Delta manufacturing
region and neighbouring Hong Kong, said Guangdong Environmental Protection
Bureau director Li Qing.
A power plant on the outskirts of Zhangjiakou.
More than 1,500 factories in southern China had been closed down in the
past three years due to the pollution and environmental hazards they
More than 1,500 factories had been shut down after checks were made on
110,000 companies, he said.
Most of the affected businesses were cement and power plants, some of which
were Hong Kong-owned, he was cited by Hong Kong's RTHK radio as saying.
Li said more measures were in place to reduce emissions of sulfur dioxide
from power plants in the next few years.
His comments came before Hong Kong chief executive Donald Tsang was due to
attend the Hong Kong-Guangdong Co-operation Joint Conference in Guangdong on
Ways to tackle rising pollution are expected to be high on the agenda of
The talks are the latest effort from Tsang, who recently urged Hong Kong
citizens to reduce electricity usage in order to cut emissions from power
stations, in his battle to clean up the city's air.
Air quality has deteriorated in Hong Kong so much that smog reduced
visibility to less than a kilometer (about half a mile) on more than 50 days
last year, a record in this southern Chinese territory.
Companies say they are finding it hard to attract executives from overseas
because of the pollution problem, and the travel industry says tourists are
increasingly suffering smog-related health problems.
The government says the problem is mostly the result of the industrialisation
of the neighbouring Pearl River Delta region, while green groups blame it on
Hong Kong's coal-burning power stations and creaking diesel-powered buses.
In 2002, the Hong Kong and Guangdong governments agreed to reduce the
emission of four major air pollutants including sulphur dioxide by up to 55
percent by 2010.
But green groups have criticised the standard as being too