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Quit Cussing, Spitting, Littering: Beijing Chief
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The people of Beijing have been asked to rid themselves of bad habits and clean up their language as part of improving the city's environment ahead of next year's Olympic Games.

Addressing the "ceremony of mobilization and pledging of the people from all circles for Olympic one-year countdown", Beijing Olympic chief Liu Qi stressed it was up to individuals to ensure the city was ready to host the Games in a year and two weeks' time.

"Every citizen should behave in a civilized manner, cast away ugly habits, clean up their language, clean the environment and clean the air," Liu, president of the Beijing Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games (BOCOG), said on Wednesday.

"We should push the environmental campaign and effectively solve the problem of spitting and littering. Every citizen should voluntarily keep the city clean, acting by themselves from now on to clean and beautify our home."

Potential Blights

Spitting, littering and the unwillingness of many Chinese to stand in line have been identified as potential blights on the city's image as it prepares to welcome the world next year.

Liu said security was vital to hosting a good Games and measures should be taken to avoid protests or confrontations with the city authorities.

"We must guarantee a safe and stable Beijing society ... and construct an impregnable fortress to ensure safety and stability," he said.

"We must solve the internal conflicts of people well, take various solutions, try to solve them at the grass roots."

Liu, who is also head of the Beijing Communist Party, was the key speaker at the ceremony in the north of the city held at an exhibition hall hung with red banners with Olympic slogans daubed on them.

An official led a sing-along of patriotic songs before Liu stood to issue his rallying call to the assembled soldiers, nurses, policemen and women, workers, volunteers, representatives of ethnic minorities and party cadres.

"At the one year countdown I, representing BOCOG and the city government and Municipal Party, am calling on all Beijing citizens, young and old, city or village dwellers, no matter what their job or where they come from, to take action at once."

(China Daily July 26, 2007)

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