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Beijing Air Quality Still not Satisfactory for Olympic

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Eight days before the 2008 Summer Olympics kick off in Beijing, the city's air quality is still so unpredictable that officials were forced Thursday to announce emergency contingency plans.

In recent days, the Chinese capital has been blanketed in a haze, and vehicle emissions have been higher than those expected by experts. Olympic organizers fear the pollution could not only prove a nuisance to spectators but also hinder the performance of athletes if they inhale the pollutants deep into the lungs.

Chinese authorities had previously ordered many gunk-spewing factories to move out of town or shut down. On Thursday, the Ministry of Environmental Protection announced that officials would close 220 more factories, coal-fired power plants and steel plants in Beijing, as well as in nearby Tianjin city and surrounding Hebei province if air quality is forecast to be poor for any 48-hour period.

Last Updated on Saturday, 02 August 2008 17:49

Olympic Games Will Showcase Potential of Beijing and China in Tourism

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Tourist SceneWhen the curtain finally rises for the long-awaited start of the Beijing Olympic Games, it will provide China and its historic capital with an unprecedented platform to reach into homes across the world. Media from all over the planet have put their spotlights on China and are covering it from all different angles: history, culture, tourism, economics and the huge challenges the country has to overcome. No other event has such a global reach and saturation in terms of TV and internet coverage.
Top world tourist destination by 2020
Since opening up to the world two decades ago, China has seen a steady rise in the number of international visitors. In 2007, international arrivals increased by nearly 10%, according to the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO). China is currently the world’s fourth most popular tourist destination, behind France, Spain and the USA. The United Nations agency forecasts that it will overtake them to become the top inbound destination by 2020 – and the Olympic Games are seen as a major factor in achieving that.

Last Updated on Saturday, 26 July 2008 00:57

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