- Title: CHINA: China promises to clear up smoggy sky for the 2008 Olympic games
- Date: 6th August 2007
- Summary: SLATE INFORMATION
- Embargoed: 21st August 2007 13:00
- Location: China
- Country: China
- Topics: Sports
- Reuters ID: LVACAK02GDZRBWONDIHOPUF5MGDZ
- Story Text: An official of the Beijing Olympic organising committee says the government will try to clear up the city's smog in time for the 2008 games.
Preparations for next year's Beijing Olympics are on track, organisers said on Monday (August 6), shrugging off concerns about food safety, pollution and accusations it has not lived up to its media freedom pledge.
All Olympic venues -- with the exception of the showpiece "Bird's Nest" stadium -- would be finished by the end of the year and ticket sales were going well, said Wang Wei, executive vice president of the Beijing Organising Committee for the Olympic Games (BOCOG).
With the city once again shrouded in smog on Tuesday, Wang reiterated Beijing's work on improving air quality and, without going into particulars, said organisers would put special measures in place next August.
"For the long term benefit of our Beijing residents, and also for the air quality control and the world's atmosphere environment, the Chinese government will promote better air quality. The more we proceed, the more challenges and difficulties we will face. But we will continue our efforts," he told reporters ahead of Wednesday's start to the one year countdown to the Games.
Wang also insisted food safety would not be a problem.
A range of Chinese exports, from fish and toys to pet food and toothpaste, has been found to be mislabeled, unsafe or dangerously contaminated, creating an international backlash.
Jiang Xiaoyu, also a BOCOG vice president, said regulations introduced at the start of the year to ease reporting restrictions for foreign journalists had been well received.
"We welcome more constructive criticism on faults and problems of our work from the media," Jiang said.
The Foreign Correspondents Club of China unveiled a survey last week which said the government still harassed reporters and did not respect a promise for total media freedom.
China's censors cut off the signal on Monday (August 6) morning for a live CNN broadcast from Beijing when the freedom of press question came up.
China now allows foreign reporters to travel and report more freely across most of the country in the run-up to next August's Games, but the relaxed rules will expire on Oct. 17, 2008.
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