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US tells China to tackle pollution

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The US has told China to get its environmental act togther ahead of the 2008 Beijing Olympics, saying that "the world was watching its environmental protection efforts" in the run-up to the sportsfest.

That's according to US Environmental Protection Agency administrator Stephen Johnson who, Reuters reports, told it like it was during a speech at Beijing's Qinghua University. He added: "More environmental protection progress can and must occur."

Specifically, Johnson called for "more stringent enforcement of central government environmental policy" and "greater co-operation between China's levels of government" to get to grips with the problem.

Johnson does have a point. As he gave forth, a pall of pollution hung over Beijing and the State Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) reported that the city had enjoyed its lowest number of "blue sky" days (official measure of low-pollution days) in five years.

The Chinese will no doubt jump to it forthwith and look to another Olympic city - Los Angeles - for pointers on how to tackle air pollution. ®

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