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China to Improve Energy Saving, Pollution Reduction Mechanisms

China will gradually improve its policies and procedures related to energy conservation and pollution, said Xie Zhenhua, deputy commissioner of the State Development and Restructuring Commission.

Xie spoke at the recent China Energy Saving and Pollution Reduction Forum.

The government plans to revise directives for readjusting industrial structure, and it will coordinate its industrial policies with those on credit, land, finance, taxes, prices, and quality control, according to the official.

Stricter rules will be adopted for companies seeking to enter some key areas and industries, to prevent the development of energy-intensive, high-pollution, low-technology projects, said Xie.

The country still faces severe problems with energy conservation and pollution, since the industrial structure has yet to be improved, he said.

For example, he said, the capacity of the steel and power industries, which emit 70 percent of the nation's sulfur dioxide, have expanded by 20 percent in recent times.

The central government will provide local governments with financial assistance, in the form of transfer payments, to help them reduce the capacity of energy-intensive, high-pollution industries, according to the official.

He criticized some localities for sticking to old-style GDP-centered targets while neglecting the issues of energy conservation and pollution reduction.

Xie disclosed that the government plans to regulate prices of fuel and power, taxes on mineral resources like coal, non-ferrous metals and iron ore as well as high-emission cars and wooden flooring.

(Xinhua News Agency November 21, 2007)

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