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Major pollutants down in Beijing
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New goals include cutting pollutants by another 50,000 tons this year, Du said.

In addition, the municipal government planned to set up an expert team to join the monitoring of air quality in Beijing and its five polluting neighbors, Du told Xinhua.

The experts from the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the Peking University and the Tsinghua University would be responsible for identifying exactly how much vehicles, coal use and climate contributed to the air pollution.

"The team will provide us with a more scientific basis for air pollution control and we will release their monitoring results daily," said Yu Jianhua, head of Beijing environmental protection and monitoring center.

As the host of the summer Olympiad, Beijing has been using its resources to tackle air pollution, cited by many as a concern for the Games.

Worries and complaints cloud the Beijing Olympics organizers. Some marathon athletes fear "Beijing's poor air quality" will impair their performance, and some countries are setting up pre-Olympic training camps in neighboring Japan and the Republic of Korea.

Beijing has spent more than 120 billion yuan (US$16.8 billion) to contain air pollution since 1998. In the past two years, the city has expanded public transport, tested a temporary traffic ban and relocated polluting factories.

Beijing's neighboring municipality Tianjin, the provinces of Hebei, Shanxi and Shandong, and the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region are lending a hand to the capital to attain anti-pollution goals. Work in these areas include closing major polluters, removing outmoded cabs and reconditioning gas stations to capture harmful chemicals.

"The cooperative efforts by the five provinces and municipalities have been smooth," said Wang Jian, director of the Air and Noise Pollution Control department at the State Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA), who was helping answer questions at the conference.

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