(Yicai Global) Jan. 20 -- China's air quality improved overall last year, with southern cities coming off better than those in the north, according to the environment ministry.
Major air pollutants declined in high-priority regions, a Ministry of Environmental Protection official said today. Air cleanliness in three southern cities, Haikou (Hainan), Zhoushan (Zhejiang) and Huizhou (Guangdong), outperformed all others in the country.
The 10 cities with the worst air quality were all in northern regions, the ministry's data shows. They are Hengshui, Shijiazhuang, Baoding, Xingtai, Hangdan, Tangshan, Zhengzhou, Xi'an, Jinan and Taiyuan. The last six are in Hebei province, close to Beijing.
Serious pollution still persists during winter in North China, said the official. Air quality improves through March and October and heavy pollution occurs mostly in winter. Air cleanliness in Beijing, Tianjin, Hebei and surrounding areas has improved from last year, but the region still remains the worst for smog in China.