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China to meet environmental goals by 2035: minister

China will strive to reach its goal of building a "Beautiful China" by 2035, amid rising public concerns over air pollution, said a Chinese minister.

Speaking at a press conference held on the sidelines of the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) on Monday, Li Ganjie, minister of environmental protection, said, "By 2035 there will be a fundamental improvement in the ecological environment, and the goal of building a 'Beautiful China' will be basically attained."

Introducing the achievements China made in protecting the environment in the past five years, Li said that the report Xi Jinping delivered to the 19th National Congress of the CPC "set a new thought, a new demand, a new goal and a new plan" for the cause of protecting the ecological environment.

Li said that the new plan will focus on "promoting green development and solving the most thorny environmental problems" under the principle of building a "Beautiful China", adding that the supervision mechanism for the ecological environment will be improved.

However, the minister admitted that there will be a long way for China to achieve the environmental protection goal, as the old and new pollution problems coexist, which is detrimental to the sustainable development of the economy and society.

Over the past two years, China has launched a series of central environmental inspections in 31 provinces and autonomous regions, with more than 10,000 officials being held responsible, according to domestic media reports.

China is studying further rules and regulations for the central environmental inspections, which will be institutionalized, said Li, adding that special inspections will be launched in most polluted areas and industries.

Li's statement about China's environmental efforts was praised by Reuters, which hailed the country's big measures taken to combat pollution.

In the past five years, China approved more than 40 reform plans for the environmental protection, which included the law of the environmental protection, the law of air pollution prevention and control and the law of the environmental impact evaluation.