With one a few days to go before the Olympics open on Aug. 8, China's work is hardly complete.The government needs to meet its pledge to deliver clean air in one of
the world's most polluted cities, since a two-month pollution control came into force in July, factories
and heavy industry in several provinces around Beijing are closed for the games, and up to 2 million vehicles have been taken off the roads
by using a daily odd or even number plate registration system.I was shocked to read about the story of Sun Ruonan’s bakery shop. Sun's ancestors opened a bakery on the axis south of
Tiananmen Square in the 1840s. The city tried to tear down the building
last year to plant grass and ornamental shrubs beside the Olympic
marathon route. Ms. Sun and her younger sister, (an Australian
citizen) refused to vacate.The city has bullied her to leave. One
night last year, a bulldozer slammed into the building. Neighbors are
paid to keep watch over her, and they have to notify the police when she has
guests. Ms. Sun said officials pressed her doctor into refusing to give
Her building is falling apart. The government, for the
sake of appearances, has put up scaffolding with green netting around
it. As the runners pass her home in August, it will be easy for
spectators to miss these posters that beg for help, taped to the door.
A mysterious notice appeared beside
the shops, typed on white paper (signed by no one). It
read, “In keeping with the government’s request to rectify the Olympic
environment, a wall will need to be built around No. 93 South Tianqiao
Road.” Several workers left a pile of red bricks on the sidewalk. The next
morning, they returned, wearing sandals and straw hats, accompanied by
the police and local officials. They set to work laying brick the following morning.A veil of green plastic netting now covers several shops, now
surrounded by a 10-foot-tall brick wall, other unfinished buildings are either demolished or covered up, part of a
last-minute beautification campaign.
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