China’s capital Beijing has introduced new rules limiting expansion of industries in a bid to cut pollution and help poor neighbouring regions.
According to the new regulations published on the city’s website www.beijing.gov.cn, resource intensive and polluting businesses within sectors such as food processing, textiles, construction materials, oil refining and paper-making, won’t by allowed further expansion.
On Friday, the local government said in a statement the proposed measures were designed to help restructure Beijing’s economy and promote integrated development with the neighbouring regions of Hebei and Tianjin.
"Constantly-developing Beijing is now facing a series of problems, including overpopulation, congestion, water shortages and air pollution - these deep-rooted problems are related to the fact that the city has too many functions, and its economy is too big," the statement said.
The city's economy grew 6.5 times from 1998 to 2012, researchers have estimated, while its population grew by two thirds, energy consumption doubled and the number of vehicles on its road tripled over the period.
Beijing has already been moving hundreds of industrial enterprises to Hebei to ease pollution and congestion.
It has also started closing down coal-fired power plants with the aim of cutting average daily air pollution by a third by 2017.
China is considering plans to create a "super-region" around Beijing by relocating industries, improving transportation, breaking down administrative barriers and setting unified industry standards.
It is also planning to relocate some non-essential government functions to Hebei and is studying a proposal to relocate as many as 5 million people outside of the city, according to local media reports.
The new policy will also impose restrictions on new real estate projects, including bans on the construction of large-scale hotels, schools, office buildings and hospitals in core districts, the city government said.
Beijing's average readings of tiny airborne particles that are hazardous to health, known as PM2.5, reached 91.6 micrograms per cubic metre in the first half of 2014, down 11.2 percent year on year, data from the Ministry of Environmental Protection showed.