FACTBOX: Flowers in, factories out -- Beijing gets ready

(Reuters) - Beijing begins two months of “odd-even” traffic restrictions on Sunday to help ease congestion and reduce pollution during the Olympics and Paralympics.

Authorities hope the regulations will take 45 percent of the city’s 3.3 million cars off the road and reduce vehicle emissions by 63 percent.

Here are some of steps being taken by authorities for the August 8-24 Olympics:


-- BIRD’S NEST BANKNOTES: China moved Mao Zedong off 10 yuan banknotes to issue six million cyan-colored Bird’s Nest notes.

-- FLORAL DISPLAYS: Four billion flowering plants -- in bright colors by venues and “calmer” one in the Olympic Village.

-- FOREIGN JOURNALISTS: Some 21,600 accredited media, and up to 10,000 more unaccredited reporters.

-- KUNG PAO CHICKEN: The dish of diced chicken fried with chili and peanuts was one of several to receive an official English translation, to eradicate “Chinglish” confusion.

-- MILITARY: A 100,000 strong anti-terrorism force. And surface-to-air missiles have been deployed around major venues.

-- OFFICIAL CHEERS: A four-step cheer based on sporting chant, “Jiayou” or “add oil”: “Olympics -- add oil”, two claps, double thumbs up, “China -- add oil”, two claps, raised fists.

-- QUAKE PANDAS: Eight pandas who survived Sichuan’s deadly earthquake in May are star attractions at Beijing Zoo.

-- SUBWAY LINES: Three new subway lines and 2,000 more buses will help carry 4 million extra ex-car users on public transport.

-- TRAFFIC SCANNERS: About 10,000 cameras and “smart” devices are monitoring major roads to catch drivers of “illegal cars”.

-- UMBRELLAS: Are allowed in venues to offer spectators shade from the sun, but not long umbrellas.

-- VOLUNTEERS: About 400,000 city volunteers will man kiosks to help 2.5 million expected visitors. Another 100,000 Games volunteers will staff the Olympics and Paralympics.


-- BAD BEHAVIOUR: Gambling, sit-ins, demonstrations, drunkenness and streaking are all banned from Games venues.

-- BANNERS: Banners and flags larger than two meters by one meter are banned from venues.

-- CARS: From July 20, half of Beijing’s 3.3 million cars will come off the roads, under an odd-even license plate system.

-- CIGARETTES: Smoking is banned in sports venues, on public transport, in parks, schools and taxis.

-- CONSTRUCTION SITES: All building is to cease by July 20.

-- DOG MEAT: Hotels and restaurants to stop serving dog meat.

-- MULTI-ENTRY VISAS: Single-entry visas, for travelers with already-booked return flights and hotel rooms, are now the norm.

-- NIGHTSPOTS: Some bars and clubs by the Worker’s Stadium and Gymnasium, which host boxing and other events, are to shut.

-- POLLUTING FACTORIES: Beijing’s top polluter, steel-maker Shougang, is moving out. Hundreds of factories in nearby provinces will also cut or freeze production.

-- SUSPICIOUS LIQUIDS: Domestic airlines banned liquids from carry-on bags, and post offices banned parcels containing them.

Source: Reuters

Writing by Gillian Murdoch, Beijing Editorial Reference Unit