BEIJING, March 25 (Reuters) - China's energy-hungry, high-polluting industries continued to grow too fast in 2013, putting "huge pressures" on the environment and causing air quality to worsen further, the country's pollution agency said on Tuesday.
Premier Li Keqiang "declared war" on pollution in a major policy address this month, but China has long struggled to strike a balance between protecting the environment and keeping up economic growth.
China is still too slow when it comes to reforming its resource-intensive economy, the Ministry of Environmental Protection said on its website (www.mep.gov.cn) in a statement to mark a report on pollution in 74 Chinese cities last year.
"The pace of restructuring and upgrading industries has slowed, the mode of development remains crude, and emissions of atmospheric pollutants have long exceeded environmental capacity," it said, in explaining why air quality got worse.
Just three of the 74 cities studied fully complied with state pollution standards in 2013, the environment ministry said this month.
Rapid urbanisation also played a role, the ministry said, bringing dust from new housing and road building, while more traffic boosted emissions. Slower wind speeds than usual in northern China were an additional contributing factor last year.
(Reporting by David Stanway; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)