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China will steer local governments away from the pursuit of economic growth at all costs and beef up their powers to punish polluters as part of a campaign to reverse the damage done by three decades of unchecked expansion.
In wide-ranging economic and social reforms unveiled last week, the ruling Communist Party said it would put more emphasis on environmental protection when assessing officials, and would also hold local authorities directly responsible for pollution.
The document, which also pledged to relax its "one-child policy" and further free up its markets, said China would draw an "ecological protection red line" that would limit the economic development of environmentally vulnerable regions.
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