News Summary: China weighs economy vs environment

News Summary: China's leaders promise cleaner environment but face obstacles

Associated Press

OUTRAGE, PRESSURE: Facing public outrage over smog-choked cities and filthy rivers, China's leaders are promising to clean up the country's neglected environment — a pledge that sets up a clash with political pressures to keep economic growth strong.

INITIATIVES FLOATED: Possible initiatives have discussed by officials and state media ahead of this week's meeting of China's legislature include tightening water standards and taxing carbon emissions. No change is expected at the National People's Congress, however.

SKEPTICISM: Skepticism about Beijing's commitment arose in February when the Ministry of Environmental Protection refused to publish results of a five-year survey of soil pollution.

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