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BOCOG confident of good air quality during Games
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Beijing is confident to stage an Olympic Games in a comfortable environment, said the Games organizers on Tuesday.

During a video meeting with the International Olympic Committee, Liu Qi, president of the Organizing Committee of the Beijing Olympic Games (BOCOG), said the environment kept improving, which filled the organizers with confidence of holding an Olympic Games with good air quality.

"Until November 22, Beijing had 226 days of good air quality (air quality level II or better) this year, nine days more than the same period last year," said Liu.

"Take August as example, we had 28 days of good air quality, including two days of level I air quality and 26 days of level II, " he said, adding that the level of sulfur dioxide and inhalant particulate matter in the air also dropped to a new low.

"These statistics gave us confidence to ensure a good environment for next year's Olympic Games," he said.

Beijing has spent 120 billion yuan between 1998 and 2006, more than three percent of its GDP, on environmental protection.

The Chinese capital urged citizens to take public transportation instead of private cars by reducing ticket price and building subway lines as vehicle exhaust emissions became a major source of the city's pollution.

The city also limited the use of small coal-burning stoves and natural gas became the clean energy alternative.

The Beijing Olympics will open on August 8 next year.

(Xinhua News Agency December 12, 2007)

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