BEIJING, Jan. 24 (UPI) -- Beijing mayor Wang Qishan said 2005 is a critical year for the city in building sports venues and urban infrastructure in preparation for the 2008 Olympics.
"We will spare no efforts to ensure successful completion of Olympic venues and auxiliary facilities," Wang told the Municipal People's Congress Sunday, China Daily reported.
The mayor said construction would start this year on new venues including the athletes' and journalists' villages, as well as the National Conference Center.
Wang did not give a full list of venues breaking ground in 2005, as several Olympic design plans were cancelled by the central government in an effort to reign in the costs of hosting the event. The mayor promised transparency in all preparations.
In 2005 Beijing plans to build four urban rail lines crisscrossing the capital, install five new sewage treatment plants, shut down 2,000 coal-burning power plants and replace 20,000 taxis that fail to meet emission standards.