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Beijing to Invest 100 Mln Yuan in Battling Sandstorms

Beijing is to invest 100 million yuan (US$13.2 million) for tree-planting to prevent sandstorms.

The money will fund the planting of 13,333 hectares of trees in Zhangjiakou and Chengde cities in neighboring Hebei Province from 2007 to 2011.

Beijing will also cooperate with neighboring regions in desertification monitoring and sandstorm warnings, according to the local authority.

Beijing has already launched the "Beijing-Tianjin windblown sand sources control project", which aims to plant 40,000 hectares of trees on hills and speed up the sand control on 16,000 hectares of desert land.

The city saw three mild sandstorms this spring, the second lowest number in the past 20 years.

Frequent sandstorms are among the major concerns of the municipal government, which is engaged in clearing the air for next year's Olympics. The deteriorating ecological situation in Hebei is seen as a main cause of the sandstorms.

(Xinhua News Agency August 30, 2007)

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