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Worried about heavy reliance on imported oil, Chinese officials have drafted automotive fuel economy standards that are even more stringent than those outlined by President Obama last week, Chinese experts with a detailed knowledge of the plans said on Wednesday.

Cars with small fuel-sipping engines are now subject to a 1 percent sales tax, while sports cars and sport utility vehicles with the largest engines are subject to a 40 percent sales tax. Stricter fuel economy standards have won support from four interest groups within the Chinese government.

I often hear from friends in the states how awful China is for becomming the biggest polluter in the world. Then I remind them that China has five times the population of the U.S., making Americans easily the dirtiest folks around. I tell them about the cool little electric scooters people ride here, and the restrictions on driving at certain times in certain areas.

Yeah, still the air here can get bad, but it has gotten much better over my four years here.

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