China has publicly debuted its first high-level environmental protection inspection team, in a move to show its commitment to tackling pollution. Likened to the anti-corruption inspection teams that swept through the country in recent years in a hard-hitting campaign, the environmental inspectors were dispatched this week to heavily polluted northern Hebei province. The elevated status - a first for environmental inspectors - gives the team broader authority to supervise not just industries, but also provincial government leaders, according to Chinese media reports.
The inspection comes after northern China last month suffered some of its worst pollution in recent memory, leading to a public outcry. As the air quality soared past hazardous levels, Beijing issued an unprecedented emergency red alert, shutting schools and hauling cars off the roads.
Lưu Huyền Trang