Chinese Press: It's Fog, not Smog

The Chinese government's vast media operations have been in overdrive in recent weeks in anticipation of Friday's Opening Ceremony. While the foreign media has raised questions about what the skyrocketing air pollution index means for athletes' health and the competition, the Chinese media is quoting experts that say there is nothing to worry about.

Du Shaozhong, a spokesman for the Beijing Environmental Bureau, has repeatedly said that he does not believe visitors to the capital, including the athletes, need masks. He has said humid weather is to blame for the seemingly dirty air in Beijing. On Monday, Du reassured everyone that the Beijing government "will strongly guarantee the air quality during the Olympics."

U.S. cyclists, however, were so concerned that they arrived this week at Beijing's airport wearing masks. The athletes apologized to Olympic organizers in a statement issued this morning in China saying that wearing the masks "in no way meant to serve as an environmental or political statement."

Listen to this audio report to learn more about how the Chinese media is covering this issue and how that compares to what the foreign press is saying.


--Ariana Eunjung Cha

August 6, 2008; 7:10 PM ET  | Category:  Postmark Beijing
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On Monday, Du reassured everyone that the Beijing government "will strongly guarantee the air quality during the Olympics."
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Could we get China to come over here to America and give us a hand with this problem? One thing I can guarantee is that our George "carbon dioxide...is not a 'pollutant' under the Clean Air Act" Bush is unable to give strong guarantees of air quality! How do they do that? Who is in charge of that? We gotta get one of those "guarantee" things. How about we give you two celebrities and a basketball player of your choice? And you can keep George W. for 165 days.

Posted by: Tim E | August 7, 2008 5:53 PM

Tim E. Now why didn't I think of that? That was good. You are also correct that Dubya, our very own pollutant, has 165 days left.

What is a terrible shame, even more terrible than the Chinese stating air quality will be good, which it wont, is that it has been 1971 days since Bush's great war on terror began in Iraq.

Posted by: The Cp29 | August 7, 2008 7:12 PM

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