Beijing Official Says 2022 Winter Games Bid A Spur To Fight City's Smog Problem
A senior official said that Beijing's bid to host the 2022 Winter Olympics "will spur the city in its fight against a serious air pollution," putting an overall figure of $7.6B on efforts to tackle the issue, according to Ben Blanchard of REUTERS. Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games Bid Committee spokesperson Wang Hui: "I think this is a fact -- Beijing's air at the moment has a problem. We all know it. This is a problem that we have great determination to resolve. The measures we have taken are the toughest." The government is spending £48B yuan ($7.6B) to fight smog. Wang denied that the government "had taken any special measures to ensure clean air for the IOC team's visit, such as ordering an emergency shut down of factories, which often happens over important international events in Beijing." Wang: "I think this is a rational assumption, but it's not the case. When the IOC evaluation team come, we want them to see a natural Beijing and Zhangjiakou" (REUTERS, 3/21).