China to spend $275 billion to combat pollution

It's more than the economic output of Hong Kong.

China said this week that its State Council has approved a new environmental plan that promises to invest $275 billion to curb the rapidly industrializing country's rampant air pollution.

The staggering figure is more than the total economic output of Hong Kong, one of the world's most economically powerful cities, according to a China Daily report.

The dense pollution in and around China's cities has been a thorny issue for both its citizens and its Asian neighbors. The new plan prioritizes the country's worst regions, mostly to the north -- Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei -- and targets a 25 percent reduction in air emissions between 2012 and 2017.

In 2012, the Chinese government criticized the U.S. for publishing air quality information taken at its embassy in Beijing.

Photo: Pollution on China's Pearl River. (J. Aaron Farr/Flickr)

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