BEIJING, March 18 (Xinhua) -- There are a lot to expect from Beijing's Olympics bid. 'Olympic Blue" is one of them.
'Olympic Blue', derived from the coined phrase 'APEC Blue', refers to fresh air and clear days that may come with the Olympics.
During last November's APEC meeting, host Beijing imposed strict pollution controls which led to a big drop in pollutants in the air. Thus, Beijing netizens coined a phrase 'APEC Blue' to describe the clear blue sky.
As 2008 Summer Olympics host and a candidate for 2022 Winter Olympics, Beijing will have to take tough measures to ensure the 'Olympic Blue'.
Air pollution, which had haunted the city for quite a long time, was believed to be one of the major problems hurting Beijing's chance.
"We will try our best for the bid," said Wang Anshun, president of Beijing 2022 Winter Games Bid Committee, "and we are currently experiencing a crucial stage."
Beijing started a five-year plan to clean the air in 2013. The city aims to cut the PM2.5 density by 20 percent in 2017, which set a much higher bar than the original one the government had set before.
It will be a daunting task for the Chinese capital as it usually took decades for many countries to reach similar goals.
Hebei is also on the way. The province, famous for the iron and steel industry, has been cutting back on the use of coal and heavy-polluting trucks. In 2015, Hebei has initiated a three-year plan to reduce the amount of pollutants.
"The government are taking action to give back the blue sky to our people, and we are confident of achieving that," said Wang Hui, an official from the Bid Committee whose determination became all the more resolute after a primary school student shoved a question at her.
"Our school sometimes forbids us to go outdoors because of air pollution," said the boy. "Can you do something about it?"
No doubt, a successful bid will surely help speed up the cities' pace in easing pollution as four percent of PM 2.5 density was cut down in 2014 in Beijing. In Hebei province, people enjoyed 23 more clean-air days in 2014 than in 2013.
PM 2.5 refers to airborne particulates with a diameter small enough to deeply penetrate the lungs.
Beijing continues the plan in 2015, forbidding the use of coal in urban areas, calling for the support of communities and putting more money in reducing air pollution. More than 10 billion yuan has been planned to reduce the city's air pollution.
"Action plans for air pollution control and sewage disposal will be formulated and implemented, special projects to protect forests, wetlands and bio-diversity will be launched, more investments will be made, and the public, NGOs and enterprises will be fully mobilized to jointly promote the construction of high-quality ecological environment of Beijing and Zhangjiakou," promised Beijing and Zhangjiakou in their bid file for the 2022 Olympic Winter Games.