(Correct paragraph 3 number of cities to 10, not 8; corrects
paragraph 4 alert status to red, not orange)
BEIJING Dec 16 Steelmakers in China's top
province for producing the construction material are being
forced to crimp output after the local government said they had
to reduce emissions in the wake of a series of pollution alerts.
The world's No.1 steelmaking nation has been battling
environmental degradation left by decades of breakneck economic
growth, adopting a colour-graded warning system in a crackdown
Ten cities in the province of Hebei, which surrounds
Beijing, have been issued with 'red alerts' for smog, the
highest possible air pollution warning.
The city of Tangshan, home to a quarter of Hebei's steel
factories, has also been given a first-level 'red alert'.
Factories in cities with red alerts must reduce emissions by
40 percent, while those under orange alerts have to curb them by
30 percent, the provincial environmental bureau said in a
statement on Thursday. It was unclear exactly how much steel
output would be impacted.
Heavy smog is due to last until Wednesday, when the alerts
are likely to be lifted along with the emissions curbs.
China have advised 23 northern cities to issue red alerts in
the face of the "worst" smog the country has experienced since
autumn, state media said.
(Reporting by Muyu Xu and Josephine Mason; Editing by Joseph