Beijing denies manipulating pollution data

Beijing has denied influencing air pollution statistics ahead of the summer Olympics, Reuters reported on Wednesday. Officials claim the capital had its cleanest air for many years in January and February.

An article in the Wall Street Journal last month said city authorities had closed three monitoring stations in Beijing’s centre and opened two more in less-polluted areas, bringing down the average pollution levels recorded.

"This phenomenon does not exist," Du Shaozhong, a spokesman for the Beijing Environmental Protection Bureau, was quoted as saying. "This is a misunderstanding. We have noticed these reports and we think they are unfair."

Beijing was constantly improving its air quality data gathering techniques, Du was quoted as saying, adding that data from each individual station was publicly available on the bureau’s website.

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