Thursday, January 13, 2011

Guangzhou Asian Games get clean bill of health

The recent Asian Games and the Asian Para Games were conducted frugally and honestly, senior officials of the host city Guangzhou have said.
Wan Qingliang, mayor of the city, said in an interview that the major events were conducted within budget, and no cases of corruption have been found.
Wan made the remarks in response to rumors the city had spent beyond its budget to ensure spectacular and successful games.
Wan said the city had spent more than 123 billion yuan ($18 billion) on the two events, but "the investment, the great majority of which went to the city's infrastructure, has never gone beyond budget. The two games, which won widespread praise from participating countries and regions, were so far the largest of their kind in history. But they were actually economical."
The 16th Asian Games took place in Guangzhou from Nov 12 to Nov 27 while the Asian Para Games opened on Dec 12 and ended on Dec 19.
"The city government always adhered to the principle of organizing the Asian Games and the Asian Para Games industriously and frugally," Wan added.
The mayor urged people on the outside not to misinterpret the large investment in the two events.
Zhang Weicheng, deputy secretary of the Guangzhou commission for discipline inspection, also said no corruption cases involving the construction of games venues and related projects had so far been investigated.
"The Asian Games and the Asian Para Games were clean as all the games-related projects were conducted in a transparent manner," Zhang told a news conference last weekend, after the commission had completed an investigation into all the projects.
Official statistics revealed only about 13 billion yuan had been invested in construction and maintenance of games venues and facilities and for the staging of the two events.
The Guangzhou government said the other 109 billion yuan was spent on the city's overall infrastructural upgrade that included the construction of new metro lines and stations, highways and bridges.
It also included projects that successfully improved the city's water and air quality.
Even without the two games, Guangzhou still needs to invest a large sum of money in further improving its infrastructure and environment to build a modern international metropolis, Wan said.
"With the efforts made to curb pollution, Guangzhou's sky has become bluer and its water cleaner," he said.

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