BEIJING， Feb. 14 (Xinhua) -- A new round of air quality inspections will run in China from Feb. 15 to March 15， the Ministry of Environmental Protection said Tuesday.
Eighteen groups consisting of over 260 inspectors will be dispatched to 18 cities in north China including Beijing， Tianjin and Taiyuan， according to the ministry.
China has attached great importance to environmental protection in recent years as environmental degradation threatens people's health and undermines the country's long-term growth.
In inspections last year， the ministry said 720 people were detained and 6，454 held accountable for environment-related offences.
Moreover， last year， 4.05 million high-emission vehicles were taken off the country's roads.
Partly due to such efforts， Chinese cities reported less PM2.5 pollution in 2016， with the average density of PM2.5 in 338 cities falling by 6 percent.
China is aiming for a 10 percent reduction in air emissions from 2012 levels by 2017 in cities at the prefecture level and above. Meanwhile， the PM 2.5 density in Beijing， Tianjin and Hebei Province should drop 25 percent.