China plans to pilot an air quality warning system in the heavily polluted cities of Beijing, Tianjin and surrounding areas next month, Xinhua news agency reported on Tuesday. Citing a document released jointly by the China Meteorological Administration and the Ministry of Environmental Protection, it said the plan put the alert system at three levels — I being the highest and III the lowest. When the air quality index is set to go beyond 500, a level I warning will issued, and level II and III are for the index to be at between 300 to 500, 200 to 300, respectively, for three consecutive days. The plan came as the government has been under growing pressure to address the causes of air pollution after heavy smog smothered large swathes of the country early this year.
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