Published: Friday 15 February 2002

-- Starting a five-year clean-up plan, China will spend us $7.85 billion and set stringent environmental control targets to combat pollution. The cabinet has given its nod to the environmental protection plan.

The plan sets out pollution control goals and indices to evaluate progress. A deadline of 2005 has been set to cut the amount of sulphur dioxide, industrial dust, solid and other major waste polluting the country's air, water and soil by 10 per cent from 2000 levels.

"Never has the Chinese government put the environment issue in such an important position. It is vital to the stability and prosperity of our country and people," said Xie Zhenhua, director of the State Environmental Protection Administration.

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