BEIJING - China's heavily polluted capital, Beijing, plans to reduce air pollution levels by 15 percent by 2015 and 30 percent by 2020 by phasing out old cars, relocating factories and planting new forests, state media said on Thursday.
The level of air pollution in the capital varies, depending on winds. But a cocktail of smokestack emissions, vehicle exhaust, dust and aerosols have at times blanketed Beijing in a pungent, beige shroud for days on end over the past few months, and has even forced the cancellation of flights.
Many Beijing residents complain on the Internet that official figures greatly underestimate the problem and say they only trust readings from the US Embassy, which has its own measurement based on US standards. Those readings appear much grimmer than those of the city government's.