State newspaper says China launches $275B effort to cut air pollution in Beijing, nearby areas

A state newspaper says China will spend $275 billion to tackle air pollution over the next five years.

The China Daily said Thursday the plan targets Beijing, the neighboring city of Tianjin and densely populated Hebei province, which surrounds them.

The government was long indifferent to the environment as it pursued economic development. China's major cities have some of the world's worst smog and water supplies are badly polluted.

The government has begun launching anti-pollution initiatives after mounting public frustration.

The China Daily said the latest initiative aims to reduce emissions of pollutants in Beijing and surrounding areas by 25 percent from 2012 levels within five years. It said details would be released later this month at the earliest.

The environment ministry didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.