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China Pays Environmental Price for Growth, Minister Says

China is paying a heavy environmental price for growth in gross domestic product and leaders will only solve the pollution problem if they change the country’s development model, a vice minister said.

China’s efforts to protect the environment have been weakened because power is spread among too many departments, Vice Environmental Protection Minister Wu Xiaoqing told a briefing. Seventy-one of 74 Chinese cities last year failed to meet air quality standards set for them, he said. Extremely heavy pollution in late February affected 15 provinces, Wu said.