China ministry summons mayors of six cities for failing to meet smog targets

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – China’s environment ministry has summoned the mayors of six northern Chinese cities to a meeting in Beijing to account for their failures to meet winter targets to cut smog, it said in a notice on Thursday.

Average air quality worsened significantly in much of northern China over the winter compliance period from last October to March, prompting concerns the country’s ‘war on pollution’ was losing steam amid an economic slowdown.

The cities named by the Ministry of Ecology and Environment on Thursday were Baoding and Langfang in the steel heartland of Hebei province, as well as Luoyang, Anyang and Puyang in neighbouring Henan and Jinzhong in Shanxi.

“These cities have relaxed their efforts to defend the blue skies, key tasks have not been completed … and some problems have rebounded,” the ministry said.

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