China has relaxed a coal ban in northern cities designed to reduce air pollution amid a growing outcry from people left without a reliable energy supply as winter sets in.
Move to clean energy leaves Chinese pupils out in the cold winter
Natural gas crunch in northern China leaves hospitals, schools out in the cold
Meanwhile, the coal ban has led to gas shortages and surging prices since the onset of winter, forcing some cities to halt supplies to factories.
As a result, the government would help energy companies to increase imports of natural gas via cross-border pipelines and liquefied natural gas terminals, commerce ministry spokesman Gao Feng said on Thursday.