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Press conference: Pollution control, city planning and media services


Press conference: Pollution control, city planning and media services

Wang Hui, the host of the press conference

Related story: Olympic Games to leave behind strong legacy for Chinese

Date/Time: 11:00 a.m., Sunday, July 27

Venue: Main Press Center (MPC)

Press conference: Pollution control, city planning and media services
Wang Hui, the host of the press conference
Wang Hui

Ladies and gentlemen, friends from the media, good morning.

I am very glad to see you at this press conference. Ever since the very beginning, BOCOG have seriously put our efforts in building the promises. And we understand that the media would like to know how the process is going. So the theme of today's press conference is to answer your concerns about it. So today, we are going to talk about Beijing Olympics city planning, air quality and media service. First, I would like to introduce our speakers today. Mr. Tan Xuxiang, deputy director of Beijing Municipal Planning Commission; Du Shaozhong, vice director of Beijing Municipal Environmental Protection Bureau; Sun Weijia, director of BOCOG Media Operations Department. And we also invite Mr. Wu Zhonghua, who is from a non-government organization.

First of all, let us invite Mr. Tan to talk about the city planning.

Press conference: Pollution control, city planning and media services
Tan Xuxiang at the press conference

Tan Xuxiang

Good morning, I will talk about 4 areas in regards to the facilities and city planning. First one, we have finished all the stadiums and related facilities. The Games of the XXIX Olympiad will use 37 competition venues and 56 training venues which are completed and ready for the world. 31 venues in Beijing include 12 newly-built, 11 renovated and eight temporarily-constructed. In addition, there are 45 independent training venues in Beijing. The competition venues in Beijing take the form of combination of centralized and decentralized areas. They are distributed in five areas: the Olympic Green, the west community, the north scenic spot area, the university areas and the east community.

The Olympic Green is at the northern part of Beijing City. It's about 1,156 hectares and 680 hectares are the forest parks. We have 10 other competition stadiums such as the National Stadium, the National Indoor Stadium. The Olympic Village are low rises and well-ventilated. They use environment friendly materials. We provide a safe, comfortable and convenient lodging for the athletes. All these stadiums and facilities are very much well constructed. They will leave a legacy to the Beijing residents. They will have a good recreation and fitness facilities after the Games.

In our Bid Report, we talked about our express roads and streets. In recent years, we finished the Terminal 3 of the Beijing Capital International Airport. We also finished the Beijing-Tianjin intra-city express roads, the subway lines NO.5 and 10, etc. We also constructed the 4th, 5th and 6th Ring Roads and other express roads, and the Airport Express Road. We have set up a network that can serve very well to the 85% of the venues. We have also formulated the Olympic Action Planning in order to fulfill the 'Green Olympics'. We have done a lot in preventing transportation pollution and improving the air quality.

During the period from 2000 to 2008, we have constructed 5 waste water plants and 6 recycling water plants. We also have enhanced the services for our residence. We have relocated some water polluted industry such as Shougang Group. We regulated and elevate the quality of the city.

During the bidding of the Olympic Games, we also have sanitary, medical services, safety and security, laundry and technology, etc. We have constructed a bunch of new public services facilities, such as the Capital Museum and the National Centre for Performing Art. These facilities will provide very long services for the city. We have fulfilled three principles of 'Green Olympics, Hi-tech Olympics and People's Olympics'. We built the stadium in compliance with our city panning and land views and we avoided important water resource conservation areas and nature protection areas and etc.

Olympic organizers have applied many advanced building technologies in building, such as utilization of clean energy, energy saving, resources recycling, environment-friendly building materials, comprehensive utilization of water resources and the construction of ecological gardens. Great care has been taken to the protection of cultural relics throughout the construction of all the Olympic projects. For example, Beijing has made proper protection and repair of some ancient cultural buildings such as the Goddess Temple and the Dragon King Temple in the northmost areas of The Olympic Green. We also have constructed the barrier -freed layout to bring better services to people.

With the Olympics opportunity, we have spread the city construction and elevated people's living standard and social environment. There are a lot of legacy that we are going to inherit.

Wang Hui

Now, let's invite Mr. Du to give us an introduction on air quality.

Press conference: Pollution control, city planning and media services
Du Shaozhong gives the speech at the press conference.

Du Shaozhong

Ladies and gentlemen of the media, good morning. I would like to talk about the Olympic air quality protection measures. We already provided you the information about air quality protection measures. This morning, I am going to introduce the implementation of the air quality measures. A few points are in my introduction. I would like to say that when bidding for the rights to host the Olympics, Beijing made three specific commitments on air quality.

First of all, carry out daily monitoring for sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, and inhalable particulates. Secondly, improve air quality throughout the year. Thirdly, during the Olympic Games, indications of the four major pollutants will meet national standard and meet the guidelines of World Health Organizatin (WHO). Two of the three commitments have been realized. Beijing has air quality monitoring system, covering the entire city with advanced technology and daily air quality protecting information for each day, which will be released to the public through television, website and other media.

The information will not only include the overall air quality information of Beijing but also the information for each monitoring site. Just go on our website and click on the information you need. We have Chinese and English. On the website, the information you have are the information I have. After today you don't need me to introduce the infomation to you every day, because they are all available on the website.

For the second commitment, for the nine consecutive years, the air quality in Beijing has been constantly improving. We made a few commitments. So as I said, for nine straight years, the air quality in Beijing has been improving. Briefly, since 1998 to 2007, Beijing has carried on large scale air pollution prevention and control work. If we count from 1998, we can say for the four pollutants that I numerated are respectively decreased by 60.8%, 39.4 %, 10.8% and 17.8%. Compared to 2001 (the year Beijing succeeded in its Olympic bid), the days up to standard have increased by 61 days and the concentrations of four major pollutants have decreased by 34%, 26%, 7% and 9% respectively. Compared to 2001, the days up-to-standard increased by 61 days.

And for the third commitment, it shall be finally tested by the Olympics. The third commitment I remind you is the indication of the four major pollutants that have achieved the national standard and met the value indicated by World Health Organization.

I would like to say that we are confident that all these commitments will be achieved. We are very serious and we take our commitments based on the 9 consecutive years of improvement. Our air quality has been improved. This is a basic situation. And we can see in Beijing that the particulate is the main worry in August. We will try to improve even better air condition in Beijing. We are confident that we can do that. This is a commitment and that is why we have a plan of protection and control of air quality in Beijing. We had 15 days of clean air more than last year. It is 69.6% of improvement. Starting from July 1, we have 22 days up-to-the standard, and 85% of good air quality days.

Since you have all these figures in your hand, I will go to the second point of my introduction. Green Olympics, many people talk about the subject. For a country of over one billion people, we can say that all the people involved in the Olympics. They are putting into practice the real meaning of Green Olympics. First of all, we have a green environment, meaning that the city organizing Games provides very good environment. We have construction and building up our green environment in favor of the organization of the Games. We have green stadiums of energy saving. To meet the requirement of energy saving and become a model of Green Olympics, we have to not only improve the environment, and we have achieved all the goals through real efforts, but also involve the public in this work. We are raising the health and environment consciousness of the public.

And we stress on the installation of hardware built on basis of the software preparation. All the efforts are going to leave the city of Beijing a very remarkable heritage of the Games. During the preparation of the Games, we are always trying to achieve our goal. The public involvement will lead the people to richness and being environment friendly. This is a very good experience for us. Thank you.

Wang Hui

Thank you very much. Now I would like to give the floor to Sun Weijia, director of BOCOG Media Operations Department.

Press conference: Pollution control, city planning and media services
Sun Weijia at the press conference

Sun Weijia

Friends from the media, as you know, media is the largest group of clients of the Olympic Games. So serving you well is priority of the Olympics readiness. When making the plan to serve the media, BOCOG's objective is very simple, that is, to serve media well.

We try to keep our commitment, perform our obligation, and try to offer high-class service for the media. We also try to introduce innovation and new approach of work, like readjusting regulation and rules and offering high-quality working environment and high-quality services. We had made some progress. So I would like to share with you some of the details.

First, we have created a very good and very free regulation environment of the Chinese government. We have issued the rules governing the foreign press news coverage of the Olympics. On December 1, 2006, this rule has set up a very good legal environment for our media friends. On that base, BOCOG has compiled the service guide for foreign press. In that service guide, we have clearly stated the policy and certain related procedures governing the coverage of the news, costumer service, covering of the unexpected incidence, hiring local employees, office and house renting, import of radio systems, vehicles, etc. Actually, the service guide has facilitated the news coverage of the press at home and abroad. In addition, according to the service guideline, we have established one stop service for the media. The so called one-stop service is coordinated working mechanism and dedicated organization to offer service to the media at home and abroad. We have one stop service for taking the application of the media. And also the approval process of such application has been streamlined. And I think the system is well accepted by the media.

And secondly, we try to offer very good working environment for the media. I would like to share with you some of the examples. First, the approval of import and the use of the satellite news gathering system and equipment. And BOCOG has approved the import and use of the satellite news gathering equipment for the broadcasters and accredited media. We have approved 407 applications. With the license form the BOCOG, the broadcasters and the accredited media can use these equipments to cover the Games. We have established the 6 areas for sightseeing and 2 dedicated areas for news coverage.

Thirdly, we also have approved the photo taking and video taking from the air. The BOB has done some testing and the results are good. Before the Olympic Games, we will arranged BOB and CCTV and other image media to take pictures or videos from the air above Beijing. We have offered very convenient and streamline custom service for foreign media. BOCOG has coordinated with China's custom office and offered temporary import on treatment for equipment and other related materials. In addition to the above mentioned services, we have completely followed the IOC media guide and offer the following facilities and services to media. I strongly believe that the facilities and service we offered to the media has fully complied with the IOC media guide. On that basis, we have made some improvements beyond the IOC media guide. I hope you will be satisfied with our services. Thank you very much.

Wang Hui

Now, I would like to give the floor to the non-governmental organization.

Wu Zhonghua

My name is Mr. Wu Zhonghua, meaning I am from China. Actually, I'm from a non-governmental organization in China and we are one of the car clubs in Beijing. We try to support the mission of the Green Olympics. We have organized some activities, especially some environmental related activities. In my organization, we tried to take actions to perform the commitment of Green Olympics to reduce the vehicles on the streets. Specifically speaking, we worked with other organizations to reduce the number of days of driving your cars and reduced the number of cars in Beijing. We have now 620,000 members and participants.

We have worked with more than 1600 other organization or institutions. We have got a lot of support from the vehicle owners in Beijing. I'm am very pleased that everybody is working together to contribute to the better environment for the Olympics. Of course, we are not only working for Olympics only, we are trying to work for the future of China and the future of our kids and next generations.

Wang Hui

OK, now the floor is open for the media. Please identify yourself when you raise your questions.

Press conference: Pollution control, city planning and media services
Reporter from Australia Channel Nine

Australia Channel Nine

I am not sure if this is for Mr. Tan or Mr. Sun. In terms of planning, I believe that you have designated 3 areas where people can stage public protests. Is that right?

Wang Hui

Actually, in the previous press conference last week, we have a dedicated press conference on security for the Olympics. They have mentioned that there are three parks that can be used for demonstrations and protests.

Press conference: Pollution control, city planning and media services
Reporter from Ta Kung Pao

Ta Kung Pao

I would like to ask a question for Mr. Du. You have participated in three press conferences in the last three days on air quality. You have adopted certain measures like controlling the cars on the street. But in the past five days, we see very bad air quality in Beijing. So I would like to ask if during the Olympics, the air quality will continue to be like this. Is it possible you will change the schedule of the Games? Or have you considered any tougher control efforts to control the air quality and pollution?

Du Shaozhong

Thank you very much for your question. I participated in three press conferences in last three days. Yes, that is true. But the statistics you have quoted are not very accurate. Since July 20th, we have issued the statistics data, which is 55, 65, 67, 89, 113, 110. Only 2 days we have low statistics lower than our national standard. So actually, it is not that bad.

Yesterday, we have mentioned that we have seen clearer improvement of the air quality. But the weather condition in the past several days is not very favorable for the control of pollutants. We have historical data for the Games period in the past several years. We compared with the historical data and the pollutant has reduces by 20% compared to previous years this year. We have made great achievements.

Secondly, the control measures are very effective but it takes time to see clearer results out of these control measures. Yesterday, I have mentioned that we have some unexpected results. Some people are trying to doubt whether we have real improvement or even doubt our statistics and data. And someone mentioned that there is no data more than 130. Actually we have 2 days when we have pollution index between 100 to 130. So we have indeed made some improvements. Thank you.

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