The European Union's environment commissioner says China can curb pollution without sacrificing economic growth.

Janez Potocnik also says China's serious pollution problems are an opportunity for European businesses that have developed technology to clean up water and air pollution.

Potocnik spoke Thursday during a two-day trip to Beijing to meet with officials and environmental activists.

He said he came to China with the message that you can integrate pro-environmental policies into industrial policy and wanted to "attack the mantra which was sometimes repeated that environmental preservation is stopping economic development."

China's government is under pressure from the public to curb pollution, but has yet to make clear how far it is willing to go if such measures wipe out jobs or force factories and power plants to close.