Buildings are surrounded by trees in the Hainan Tropical Forest National Park, Hainan province. [Photo/Xinhua]

China will achieve all of the nine pollution control targets it set for the 13th Five-Year Plan period (2016-2020) by the end of this year, a senior environmental official said on Wednesday.

All the targets have essentially been completed, said Zhao Yingmin, vice-minister of Ecology and Environment at a news conference. "The environmental improvements in the country since 2016 have been bigger than each of those in other five-year plan periods," he said.

While eight of the goals, including reduction in discharges of sulfur dioxide, oxynitride and ammonia nitrogen, were achieved last year, further progress has been made from January to last month to better the targets, Zhao said.

China is also expected to meet the target of ensuring "fairly good air quality" on at least 84.5 percent of days in 337 major cities by the end of the year, he said.

From January to last month, the proportion of days with fairly good air quality reached 87.2 percent, which was 5.7 percentage points higher than the same period last year.

According to the ministry, by the end of last year, 74.9 percent of surface water was at, or above, Grade III, the third highest level in the country's five-tier water quality system. This was an improvement of 8.9 percentage points on the 2015 level.

The proportion of water below Grade V, the poorest quality, fell 6.3 percentage points to 3.4 percent over the same period.

The ministry said by the end of September, 81.2 percent of the country's surface water was Grade III or above. The percentage of water below Grade V had declined further to 0.8 percent, it said.