With marked achievements in environmental governance, the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region last year saw its average density of PM2.5 particulate matter reach its lowest level on record.
The average concentration of the pollutant in the region stood at 31 micrograms per cubic meter in 2021, down by 11.4 percent compared with 2020, according to a media release from the general office of Xinjiang's Regional People's Congress.
On average, the accumulated time with fairly good air quality in the capitals of the 14 prefecture-level areas in the region reached 74.6 percent in 2021, beating the annual target by 1.9 percentage points, it said.
Following a decrease of a 0.7 percentage point, the accumulated time with heavy air pollution in these areas only covered 1 percent of days last year.
It also noted the "arduous task" in air quality management in a city cluster known as "Wuchangshi", which consists of the region's capital Urumqi, part of the Changji Hui autonomous prefecture and Shihezi city.
Heavy air pollution still occasionally happens in the cluster during the winter heating period, the release said.
It said the air quality figures are just one example of how Xinjiang has shown "consistent environmental improvement" since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China in late 2012.
Regarding the surface water sections in Xinjiang covered by national monitoring stations, 94.5 percent registered fairly good quality last year, up 3 percentage points year-on-year and better than the national average, it said.
The release added that the soil quality in the region was generally stable, and no major emergency environmental incidents happened last year.