Urumqi, capital of northwest China's Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, registered the country's worst air quality in the first quarter of 2016, the Ministry of Environmental Protection said Monday.
In the three months from January to March, Urumqi suffered from air pollution on more than 50 percent of the days, the ministry said while publishing a quarterly list of cities with the worst air quality.
The Xinjiang capital was followed by Baoding and Xingtai in Hebei province, and Zhengzhou in Henan province on the list. Beijing did not make the list this time.
Other cities on the worst 10 list include Shijiazhuang, Hengshui, Handan and Tangshan, all in Hebei province, and Jinan and Xi'an, capitals of Shandong and Shaanxi provinces, respectively.
The ministry said the notoriously smoggy Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region on average suffered from air pollution on 40.3 percent of the days in the first quarter, a considerable improvement from the same period last year.
But nationwide, 338 cities where data is available saw clear air on 71.3 percent of the days last month, down 4 percentage points from last year.
The 10 cities with the best air quality are Haikou, Lhasa, Huizhou, Xiamen, Zhoushan, Shenzhen, Jiangmen, Zhuhai, Fuzhou and Zhongshan.