China sticks to environmental protection measures

The Ministry of Environmental Protection has dismissed claims that China’s tough measures to rein in pollution, including environmental inspections and factory closures, have dampened industrial production and pushed up prices of industrial products.

Some have claimed that the nation’s strict pollution controls were harming economic growth.

Figures indicate steady growth and official data show that the 15 provincial areas visited by high-level environmental inspectors this year saw greater growth among companies with annual revenues over 20 million yuan than for such companies in the 16 regions that were not inspected.

The crackdown on polluters in Xingtai, Hebei province – which has been one of the worst cities for smog since 2013 – has improved the air quality, and the city’s economic growth is now ranked No 1 among the 11 big cities in the province.

Meanwhile, Jining, a large coal consumer in Shandong that relies on heavy industry, has shut down many polluting companies, yet the industrial output and revenue increased much faster than the provincial average in the first seven months.

Two cities demonstrate that healthy and faster economic growth can happen along with an improved environment and other cities should follow their example.

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