Beijing Wages War On Pollution

Beijing knows it has to clean up its act if it wants to host the 2008 Summer Olympic Games. And China has started doing something about it.

To encourage Chinese car manufacturers to meet higher environmental protection standards now in effect in Europe, China is cutting the consumption tax by 30 per cent for cars that have reached the European 2 emission standard, retroactive to January 1, 2000.

China’s Ministry of Finance and the State Administration of Taxation announced that the cars affected include passenger cars, all-terrain vehicles and compact cars. To be eligible for the tax reduction, car manufacturers must have their products examined by government-authorized, quality-control agents.

The lower tax rates will benefit Chinese manufacturers the most because imported cars are already subject to higher tariff rates.

According to international agreements it has signed, China will adopt stricter standards on the level of emissions in the next few years.

Beijing has had European 1 standards for car emissions since the beginning of the year. These standards, equal to those of Europe in the 1990’s, are the strictest used in any Chinese city.

In another development, International Olympic Committee vice president Kevan Gosper said that Beijing has its advantages in its Olympic bid. Gosper told the Xinhua News Agency that though Beijing failed in its pevious bid, it has acquired invaluable experience. He said IOC members will have a deeper impression of Beijing in their second inspection tour of the city. And holding the Olympic Games in China will have great significance because China is the most populous country in the world, said Gosper.

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