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China can ensure good air quality during Olympics: official
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China is able to ensure a good air quality during the Olympic Games, fulfilling its commitment made seven years ago for the Olympic bid, an official said on Tuesday.

The environment authorities in Beijing are keeping a close watch over major pollution indices everyday, including sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide and particulate matters, said Zhang Lijun, deputy head of the State Environmental Protection Administration.

"Three indices have met national standards due to years of efforts, and we promise the index of particulate matters will also meet standards during the Olympics," he told reporters on the sidelines of the annual session of parliament.

Beijing has input more than 12 million yuan (US$1.69 million) in improving the air quality in the past years, and the number of "blue sky" days, or days with fairly good air quality, had increased to 246 last year from 100 in 1998, he said.

(Xinhua News Agency March 11, 2008)

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