Jörn-Carsten GOTTWALD

China faces serious pollution problems, but its position as host of the 2008 Olympics has provided a strong impetus for ecological reform while simultaneously creating opportunities for critics who say that the country is not doing enough, or doing it fast enough.

One of the major obstacles to China’s winning the competition to host the 2008 Olympic Games was widespread fear among observers that people attending the games would suffer from the severe air pollution in China’s capital (not, incidentally, a criticism unique to China; the same anxiety had been expressed about the previous host city, Athens, and others as well).

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