FILE - In this Dec. 19, 2016, file photo, Chinese women wearing masks to protect themselves from air pollution walk through Ritan Park shrouded by dense smog in Beijing. (AP Photo/Andy Wong, File)
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China's smoggiest cities have pledged to ramp up the battle on pollution after air quality deteriorated in the first few months of this year, the China Daily reported Monday, as smog blanketed the capital, Beijing, and the surrounding region.Top officials from seven districts in Beijing, Tianjin and cities in Hebei and Shanxi provinces were scolded at the weekend by the environmental watchdog for lax control of pollution this year, the paper said.On Saturday, Hebei, the northern province home to six of China's 10 smoggiest cities in the first two months of 2017, said it would take more action to shut "backward" coal-fired power plants, promote new energy vehicles and shift industries.
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