BEIJING, Jan. 9 (Xinhua) -- A Chinese official said on Thursday the government will continue to fight against air, soil and water pollution with great determination.
"The government can never slack off on the task of reducing pollutant discharge," Minister for Environmental Protection Zhou Shengxian said at a national meeting of environmental protection work held in Beijing.
Targets for the reduction of key air pollutants have been set for 2014, with targets for annual emissions of sulfur dioxide, chemical oxygen demand and ammonia nitrogen down two percent from 2013, Zhou said.
However, reduction of oxynitride emissions still faces great challenges, he said, adding that a 5 percent decrease target has been decided for 2014.
The air pollution in Beijing, and neighboring Tianjin municipality and Hebei Province, will be the ministry's top priority, and systems will be made to evaluate local governments' progress in abating pollution, the official noted.
The ministry will make efforts to protect the safety of drinking water, and prevent and control water pollution in major river valleys.
A soil pollution survey will be done and pilot sites for dealing with contaminated land will also be set up nationwide, according to the ministry.