China premier vows to make 'skies blue again'
BEIJING China will work to clear its skies by increasing investment in clean energy and punishing polluters, Premier Li Keqiang said in comments aimed at mollifying public anger over chronic smog.
Swathes of northern China were blanketed under toxic smog this winter, affecting more than 100 million people and forcing government agencies to take emergency measures to curb pollution.
"Environmental pollution remains grave, and in particular, some areas are frequently hit by smog," Mr Li told the National People's Congress in opening its annual session.
But "we will make our skies blue again", he said.
Mr Li listed a series of measures China will take to help clear the air, including upgrading coal-fired power plants, reducing coal-fired heating and implementing "round-the-clock monitoring" of industrial pollution. - AFP