The appreciation of Yuan and the heightened tasks in security
management have driven up Beijing's Olympics budget from US$1.6 billion to US$2
billion, Liu Jingmin, executive vice president of the Beijing
Organizing Committee for the 2008 Olympic Games, said in Beijing on
The figure still stays short of the 2.4-billion-USD budget for
the Athens Olympics in 2004, he noted, adding that the committee
would make a second revision of the budget in line with needs.
Olympic Beijing builds handicapped accessible
Beijing is renovating more than 1,000 public facilities a year
for easier access of wheelchairs, said Liu Jingmin.
"All Beijing's star-level hotels and more than 40 hospitals are
handicapped accessible," he told reporters on the sidelines of the
17th National Congress of the Communist Party of China.
Beijing's Olympic facilities also include a new terminal
building at the Capital International Airport and a more
comprehensive subway network, which will extend to the Olympic
village and the airport in time for the Beijing Games, said
Beijing's No. 5 subway line, running through the heart of the
city from north to south, was inaugurated on Oct. 7 to boost public
transport and ease road congestion ahead of the Olympics.
All the new routes employ wheelchair accessible cars.
The city promised last month it would put more handicapped
accessible buses into service and replace all subway cars running
on its two downtown routes with new ones in an effort to improve
public transport facilities for the Olympics.
20,000 Olympic torch bearers to be chosen
Liu also revealed that more than 20,000 torch bearers are to be
chosen around the world and preparations for the Olympic torch
relay both in China and the rest of the world are going on
According to the plan, the torch will be relayed to Mount
Qomolangma. The number of torch bearers would be 21,880, the
organizing committee revealed previously.
Venues to be completed
Construction of the National Stadium where the opening ceremony
of the 2008 Olympics is to be held will be accomplished next March
and all the other venues are to be completed by the end of this
year, said Liu, adding that so far, 27 of the 37 venues have
already been completed.
And the programs for the opening and closing ceremonies of the
2008 Olympic Games have been finalized while rehearsals are
Do not politicize Olympic Games
Also at the press conference, when answering a question on the
boycott attempt by some people, Liu said political issues should
not be associated with the Olympic Games.
"All the political issues that have nothing to do with the
Olympics shall not be associated with the Beijing Games. The
attempt to boycott the Beijing Games for such excuses is improper
and unpopular," said Liu.
600,000 jobs created annually
The coming Olympics created 600, 000 jobs every year since the
preparations started in 2001.
Liu Jingmin said at the press briefing that Beijing has
benefited from preparations for the coming Games, which is
scheduled to open on Aug. 8, 2008.
In the past five years, Liu said, the annual increase of gross
domestic product (GDP) in Beijing reached 12.1 percent averagely,
with the amount last year at 770 billion yuan (US$102.7 billion)
and the per capita figure at US$6,300.
Beijing also saw 3.9 million overseas tourist arrivals in 2006,
one million more than that in 2001, Liu said
Meanwhile, the coming Olympics helped Beijing improve its urban
planning and better transport networks, he said.
(Xinhua News Agency October 19, 2007)