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Beijing Plans Exercise of Ban on Cars
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Beijing plans to take 1 million cars off the roads next month in an exercise to test its emergency preparedness for next year's Olympic Games, Wang Wei, executive vice-president and secretary-general of the Beijing Olympic Organizing Committee, said.

This month sees the opening of the "Good Luck Beijing" games in six cities including Beijing, Shenyang and Hong Kong. Most of the events will be held in Beijing.

The information center of the committee declined to provide dates the ban on cars would take effect.

In November last year, 80 percent of the municipal government's vehicles and 50 percent of the central government's vehicles were taken off the roads during the Beijing Forum on China-Africa Cooperation.

Private car owners were also urged to take public transport to ease traffic congestion.

Beijing had about 3 million vehicles at the end of May, and the figure is likely to reach 3.3 million by next August, according to the Beijing traffic management bureau.

"I believe last year's experiment was successful," Liu Aiguo, a driver who works for a media company in Beijing, said.

He said that during the forum there was no congestion.

Hu Xiangyou, a manager at one of the IT companies in Zhongguancun Science Park (Z-park), said he was not concerned about the possible restriction.

"The Internet can help deal with most of my business. And I can also postpone some meetings during the ban," he said.

The International Olympic Committee on Monday formally recognized the efforts made by the Chinese authorities in Beijing ahead of the 2008 Olympics games, according to Xinhua News Agency.

(China Daily July 5, 2007)

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