smog china
A tourist boat, decorated with green lights, travels on the Pearl River amid heavy haze in Guangzhou, Guangdong province, China Reuters

China is preparing to test a smog-busting drone in an effort to help clean up air pollution, which has reached crisis levels in most big cities across the country.

Pollution experts will test a parafoil plane made by the Aviation Industry Corporation of China. The unmanned vehicle has a gliding parachute which contains chemicals that effectively mop up particulates and other pollutants in the air.

The drone has flexible wings, making it easier to control. It can also carry three times the amount of chemical cargo than similar-sized aircraft, the company's chief executive, Ma Yongsheng, said.

According to the South China Morning Post, Ma said the parachute can carry up to 700kg of smog clearing-chemicals.

Over recent years, Chinese authorities have used planes to spray chemicals into the air, causing pollutants in smog to fall to the ground.

Ma also noted the drone can be used for emergency rescue, disaster relief and surveillance. There is also potential for its use in agriculture as it can spread seeds over wide areas.

Premier Li Keqiang told the National People's Congress rubberstamp parliament in Beijing that he had authorised a "war on pollution".