China to build five instead of 10 Olympic stadiums to save money

BEIJING -- China will build five new stadiums for the 2008 Beijing Olympics instead of the 10 that were originally planned to save money. The plan was announced by the government Tuesday, less than a month after the International Olympic Committee requested China slow down construction in order to cut costs. Liu Qi, president of the Beijing Olympics organizing committee, told the ruling Communist Party newspaper that construction should be "based on the principles of meticulous calculation and thriftiness." "If the buildings can be renovated, we will not build new ones," Liu said in the People's Daily. "If the buildings can be temporary, we will not build permanent ones. We will do our best to save money." Many of the new stadiums will be planned and designed so they can be used after Olympics, he said. Beijing has said expects to spend $24.2 billion on new subway lines, roads and other facilities by 2008. In April, ground was broken at a 100,000-seat stadium and officials said then they plan to have all their major building projects finished more than 18 months before the games begin.

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