BEIJING, July 25 (UPI) -- China's Ministry of Environmental Protection has issued strict plan to reduce air pollution by the year 2017, officials said.
The Airborne Pollution Prevention and Control Action Plan, which was announced Wednesday by Zhao Hualin, head of the pollution prevention and control department of the environmental ministry, was approved by China's State Council last month and will receive $277 billion in funding from the central government, China Daily reported.
The plan targets Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei province in northern China where there are high levels of air pollution. Under the plan, the region will reduce its air pollution by 20 percent.
"The thick smog and haze that covered large areas of the country in January has focused public attention on this issue," Zhao said.
Zhao said officials in the targeted areas have already had meetings regarding air pollution prevention.
"The detailed cooperation plan is still under discussion. Basic rules, such as unified law enforcement, monitoring and the release of data, are sure to be included," Zhao said.