Thursday, October 28, 2010

Guangdong justifies spending on Asian Games By Liu Weitao

Guangdong justifies spending on Asian Games
Zadki Ali Jabbar (right), editor of The Island, a newspaper in Sri Lanka, visits Guangzhou Xiangxue Pharmaceutical Co Ltd on Wednesday. [Photo/China Daily] 

GUANGZHOU - People should not misinterpret the 120-billion-yuan ($18 billion) bill for the Guangzhou 2010 Asian Games and the Asian Para Games, a senior Guangdong provincial official has said.
"Less than 20 billion yuan is for games-related facility construction and maintenance as well as the whole event's operation, while the remaining 100 billion yuan has been spent on the city's overall infrastructure upgrade," Lin Xiong, head of the publicity department of the Guangdong provincial Party committee, told reporters on Wednesday.
Lin made the remarks while meeting with a media delegation consisting of more than 40 journalists from mainstream media in 18 Asian countries and regions.
This was the biggest Asian media delegation to have come to China so far.
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Critics have fussed about spending for the 2010 Asian Games and the Asian Para Games after Guangzhou Mayor Wan Qingliang revealed last week the total expenditure figures for the event.
According to Wan, Guangzhou has spent 6.3 billion yuan on the construction and maintenance of sports facilities, 7.3 billion yuan on the event's operation and 109 billion yuan on improving the city's appearance and environment.
"Even without the Asian Games, Guangzhou still needs to put hundreds of billions of yuan into the city's renovation and upgrade," Lin said.
"Most of the 120 billion yuan went to the construction of subways, roads and bridges, improving the urban environment and the treatment of industrial waste water."
The total budget for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games was 280 billion yuan, according to figures released by the Beijing municipal government in August 2008.
The visiting Asia media delegation will travel to Guangzhou, Zhuhai, Shenzhen and Foshan from Oct 19 to 24 to learn about the preparatory work of the 2010 Guangzhou Asian Games and the Asian Para Games as well as the social and economic development of the Pearl River Delta region.
Most of the delegation members belong to the Asia News Network, an association of mainstream national daily newspapers across Asia. The world's largest media organization of its kind, the Asia News Network, was established in March 1999 and now has members in 18 countries and regions.
"I hope journalists from Asian countries will have an accurate understanding and report objectively about the Asian Games and the social and economic development of Guangdong," Lin told the delegation.
The 16th Asian Games will be held in Guangdong from Nov 12 to 27, followed by the 2010 Asian Para Games from Dec 12 to 19.

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