(Refiles to fix typo in headline)
BEIJING, Sept 18 China will publish a list of
its 10 worst - and best - cities for air pollution each month, a
top leader said on Wednesday, as the country pushes officials to
dispel a persistent smog crisis that is fuelling public anger.
Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli said the move would help cities
meet targets for cleaning up their air and promote more
environmentally-friendly economic growth, the central government
said on its website (www.gov.cn).
It did not say when publication of the lists would start.
"Local government must accept responsibility for air
quality, and the state will publish every month a list of the 10
worst and 10 best cities for air pollution," the statement
quoted Zhang telling a meeting in the capital, Beijing, as he
urged all parts of the country to meet their targets.
"Combating air pollution is a long-term, difficult and
complex task," Zhang added. "We must stress the cleaning up of
polluted cities and the cutting and management of pollutants."
China has been under pressure to tackle air pollution after
thick, hazardous smog engulfed much of the industrial north,
including Beijing, in January.
It has also been anxious to douse potential unrest as an
increasingly affluent urban populace turns against a
growth-at-all-costs economic model that has besmirched much of
China's air, water and soil.
The problem has hurt China's economic competitiveness too,
with many foreign companies finding it hard to entice executives
to accept appointments in Beijing or other Chinese cities with
notorious air pollution problems.
China this week unveiled far-reaching steps to tackle smog,
with plans to slash coal use and shut polluting industrial
units, but experts said attaining the bold targets would be a
(Reporting by Ben Blanchard and Hui Li; Editing by Clarence