Wednesday, October 13, 2010

China ready for Asian Games

P042006ed-0463-398hImage via Wikipedia

Chinese President Hu Jintao lit the Asian Games torch from a specially designed cauldron in Beijing's Temple of Heaven Tuesday morning, marking the official start of the month-long relay for the 16th Asian Games.

The torch relay will cover Beijing, Harbin, Changchun, Shandong's Haiyang, and 21 cities in southern Guangdong Province before arriving at the Asian Games opening ceremony in Guangzhou on November 12.

Guangzhou, capital city of Guangdong, has been preparing itself for the games for the past six years, after it won the bid to host the Games in July 2004.

The construction of the venues and the Asian Games Village has been completed. The Asian Games Village, covering 622,000 square meters, will house more than 40,000 athletes, officials, media personnel and volunteers.

The garden-style village boasts a treasure trove of ancient Chinese architecture and tranquil natural sceneries, which are meant to provide the athletes with a serene getaway from the hustle and bustle of the competitions.

"The rooms for the athletes are not equipped with telephones, TV sets or cooking facilities, so the athletes can enjoy a quieter and safer environment," said Fan Haoran, a staff member in charge of housing services in the Village.

To ensure the safety of the Games, more than 100 security checkpoints have been set up at highway toll stations and ferry terminals in the provinces of Guangdong, Fujian, Jiangxi, Hunan, Hainan and Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.

The public security divisions at all levels nationwide will be involved in a series of safety measures, such as increasing efforts to investigate and handle legal disputes, cracking down on violent crimes, and monitoring public security, according to the public security bureau of Guangzhou Municipality.

Guangzhou Public Security Bureau has distributed security awareness pamphlets to bus and car drivers, introducing them to measures designed to prevent and cope with crimes and terrorist attacks, said Zhu Xuqin, an official at the Guangzhou Public Security Bureau.

The Special Force of Chinese People's Armed Police Forces of Guangdong Province has already undergone a strict 100-day counter-terrorism attack training program.

"We have been studying the security incidents that took place in the Munich Olympics and the Atlanta Olympics, and have discussed ways to cope with emergencies as well as acquainted ourselves with the sports venues," said Li Hejun, a general of the special force.

As for the accusations about the safety hazards of Guangzhou's subway Line Three which were posted online by a local engineer, Guangzhou Metro Corporation announced Tuesday that Line Three was safe enough, despite the fact that the compressed strength of the concrete in some parts of the line was below the planned standards.

As an integral part of the preparation for the Asian Games, the local government of Guangzhou has been building additional sports infrastructure for the public.

Currently, Guangzhou has more than 20,000 sports venues and facilities and 9,000 green spaces for morning and evening exercises.

"We want to make the Asian Games a holiday for all. The best way to approach sports is to make it a way of life," Zeng Weiyu, vice president of the department of publicity of the Guangzhou Asian Games Committee, said.

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