Production of leaded gasoline in China must stop by the end of next year, the government said in an order released Friday.
The State Council, China's highest government body, said gas stations will have to replace leaded with unleaded by July 1, 2000, and car companies will have to produce vehicles adapted for unleaded gasoline, the state-run Xinhua News Agency said.
China's automobiles are largely unequipped for emissions controls.
The government also will raise taxes on leaded gas to keep the price at least as high as unleaded gasoline.
China has 10 of the world's most-polluted cities, and smog is blamed for tens of thousands of premature deaths a year. Although the country's air pollution is largely due to coal-burning, auto emissions also play a part.
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