According to The Independent, citing the Asia Times, China has reassigned over 60,000 soldiers to plan trees in a bid to combat pollution by increasing the ’s forest coverage. The soldiers from the People’s Liberation Army, along with some of the nation’s armed police force. From the report: The majority will be dispatched to Hebei province, which encircles Beijing. The area is known to be a major culprit for producing the notorious smog which blankets the capital city. The idea is believed to be popular among members of online military forums as long as they can keep their ranks and entitlements. It as part of China’s plan to plant at least 84,000 square (32,400 square miles) of trees by the end of the year, which is roughly equivalent to the size of Ireland. The aim is to increase the ’s forest coverage from 21 per cent of its total landmass to 23 per cent by 20, the China Daily newspaper reported.

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