As Beijing's air quality had all reached the standards to host the Olympics in all 18 days of August before Tuesday, the Chinese capital was making strides in fulfilling its commitment on good air quality for the Games, a Beijing official said.
"In the 18 days between August 1 and August 18, Beijing's air quality was within the standards to host the Olympics. Of the 18 days, Beijing reported Grade I air quality in nine days, and in the other nine days, the city's air quality was Grade II," deputy director of the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Environmental Protection Du Shaozhong told a press conference.
In the Chinese system to report the air quality, Grade I means the air quality is excellent with the Air Pollution Index (API) showing a reading between 1 and 50. Grade II means the air quality is fairly good, with an API reading between 51 and 100.
In the past 18 days this month, the daily API reading was 56 on average, much lower than last year's figure of 81 in the same period, he said. Beijing's air quality so far this month was the best ever recorded in the last 10 years.
"These figures prove that our measures to improve air quality for the Beijing Games, particularly those temporary measures to cut emissions, have been playing a positive role. We are earnestly fulfilling our commitment to ensuring good air quality during the Olympics," he said.