69% of Chinese firms broke environmental rules

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BEIJING: More than two-thirds of the companies investigated by China in its latest campaign against pollution have violated environmental rules, an environment ministry official told a briefing yesterday.

China launched a campaign earlier this month aimed at "normalising compliance" in 28 cities in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, a major pollution hotspot.

Mr Tian Weiyong, head of the monitoring department at the Ministry of Environmental Protection, said 4,077 firms had been investigated as part of the campaign, and 2,808 of them - 69 per cent - were found to have violated environmental rules.

China is in the fourth year of its "war on pollution", but the ministry has traditionally struggled to impose its will on powerful industrial enterprises and growth-obsessed local governments in the polluted areas. - REUTERS