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Senior Leader Hails Beijing's Efforts to Achieve Green Olympics

Wang Gang, member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, said Beijing had made great efforts in improving its natural environment conditions over the past six years.

Wang, also National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) vice chairman, made the remarks in Beijing during an inspection of environment conditions.

The inspection will also cover neighboring Tianjin Municipality and Shanxi and Hebei provinces.

"The Green Olympics is one of the most important themes of the Beijing Games," Wang said, "The city has made great efforts, and succeeded in improving its environment, especially its air quality, to fulfill the environmental commitment it made when bidding for the Games."

He stressed the city had also achieved a lot in curbing water pollution, noise control and waste processing.

"These efforts have laid good foundation for the 'Green Olympics' goal", he said.

Wang urged government departments to strengthen efforts to ensure that Beijing would enjoy a clean environment during the Games in August.

In late February, major pollutants in Beijing were reported to be down and air quality in the city had improved for a ninth consecutive year.

Between 1998 and 2007, the amount of sulphur dioxide in the capital's air was down 60.8 percent, while carbon monoxide was cut 39.4 percent. Nitrogen dioxide was reduced 10.8 percent and particles were down 17.8 percent, according to latest statistics.

The number of days that met the "blue sky" standard had increased from 100 to 246 during the period and the figure is expected to rise to 256 this year.

(Xinhua News Agency April 23, 2008)

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