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China affirms strong will to reduce fine dust pollution

All Headlines 16:27 June 24, 2018

SUZHOU, China, June 24 (Joint Press Corps-Yonhap) -- China on Sunday expressed its firm resolve to reduce fine dust pollution amid South Korea's stepped-up efforts to address growing concerns over the transnational health hazard.

Chinese Environment Minister Li Ganjie also said during his meeting with his South Korean and Japanese counterparts that Beijing will seek to unveil the outcome next year of joint research on the long-range transboundary air pollutants in Northeast Asia.

Last year, the three countries shared the view that they would issue the report on the outcome this year, but they failed to do so due to Beijing's claim that the data used in the research were outdated.

"The Chinese government's attitude, determination, action and measures are firm and unwavering vis-a-vis PM 2.5," Li said in response to a question from South Korean reporters during the meeting in Suzhou, east China. PM 2.5 refers to ultrafine particles less than 2.5 micrometers in diameter.

"Especially, there have been much progress and outcomes through a series of measures following the 18th (Communist) party congress (in 2012)," he added.

Li also explained a recent series of steps that Beijing has taken to tackle the air pollution issue.

"We established a center to address the ultrafine dust problem and put together a team with nearly 1,500 scientists who are the most excellent in China," he said.

"China's position regarding cooperation with South Korea and Japan is active as well. Our research cooperation ought to be full-scale, deep and scientific," he added.

South Korea has been grappling with fine dust thought to originate from the western deserts of China and domestic smog. Fine dust is known to cause various respiratory problems.

The Moon Jae-in administration has pledged to cut fine dust emissions by over 30 percent within its five-year term that ends in 2022 and to beef up environmental cooperation with China.

Kim Eun-kyung (R), Li Ganjie (C) and Masaharu Nakagawa, the environment ministers of South Korea, China and Japan, pose for a photo after signing a joint statement at their meeting in Suzhou, east China, on June 24, 2018, in this photo provided by Kim's office. (Yonhap)


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