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China vows not to relocate polluting plants to development-crazed west

Updated: Mar 7,2015 5:07 PM     Xinhua

Environmental Protection Minister Chen Jining listens to a question at a press conference on the sidelines of the ongoing annual session of the National People’s Congress, China’s top legislature, in Beijing, March 7, 2015. [Photo by Wang Jing/chinadaily.com.cn]

BEIJING — China’s newly appointed environment chief pledged on March 7 not to relocate its polluting plants in the coastal areas to the vast central and western regions in the country’s industry upgrade.

Environmental Protection Minister Chen Jining made the remarks at a press conference on the sidelines of the ongoing annual session of the National People’s Congress, China’s top legislature.

“We will not allow the central and western regions to become the harbor for polluting enterprises,” he said.

As the world’s second largest economy is gearing up for a slower but more self-sustaining growth, observers have voiced their concerns that as China’s coastal regions turn against pollution, low-end manufacturers and plants may be relocated to central and western regions that are economically lagging behind the booming east and desperate for development.

The minister stressed that China will prevent the relocation of the polluting industries with strict legislation and law enforcement.

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