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China wants clean air for the Olympics

Beijing 2008 organisers are confident that goals to generate fresher air will be met in time for the start of an event that will go down as one of China’s proudest moment, but critics are calling the efforts superficial.
On Tuesday, organisers updating the public about preparations for the Olympics said they were confident the city would meet an ambitious goal of having acceptable air quality for 65% of the year, meaning measurements would reach an international standard of "moderate" or better.

The goal appeared out of reach after severe sandstorms in the spring, but an unusually rainy July helped clear the air.

Critics worry that China's obsession with the so-called blue-sky rating and dry weather is masking deeper problems.

"It's meaningless propaganda to fool the people into thinking things are getting better," said Wen Bo, Beijing representative for the California-based Pacific Environment.

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