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Last Updated: Monday, 27 June 2005, 08:46 GMT 09:46 UK
China plans $39bn Olympic spend
People walking past shop front with Beijing 2008 banner
The Olympics can be a very powerful driver of economic growth
China plans to spend almost 320bn yuan ($39bn; 21bn) on its infrastructure in preparation for the 2008 Olympic Games, the Xinhua state news agency has said.

Most of the cash will be spent updating Beijing's transport links, with 132 kilometres of new rail and underground links planned.

Beijing also will modernise roads, pump money into power and water utilities, and upgrade communication systems.

The Beijing Olympics is scheduled to start on 8 August, 2008.

Correspondents say the Chinese government is attaching great national pride to its hosting of the Olympics.

There have been a number of scandals, however, with the government uncovering corruption and misuse of Olympic funds.

Farmers have protested at being forced off their land to make way for Olympic building projects such as the aquatic park, which will host the rowing and canoeing competitions.

Part of the planned $39bn expenditure will be spent on dismantling 69 villages in the Beijing area, Xinhua reported.

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