Yes, Beijing is getting ready to host the 2008 Olympics, but even that can't explain why the government just spent some $56,000 painting southwest China's Laoshou Mountain green to cover up scars left by a strip-mining operation. Here are some of China's other "beautification" campaigns that are in the works.
NO MORE SPIT SHINE The country has tried for years to get residents to stop spitting in public, but in February, Beijing got tough and imposed a $6.50 fine--a day's salary--for anyone caught doing so.
TROUBLED WATERS China, still a laggard in environmental issues, is responding to a 40% drop in the fish population of the polluted Yellow River with a plan to dump in 6 million new fish each year.
THE END OF HISTORY Thousands of Beijing's historic hutongs (house-lined alleys) are being bulldozed to make way for new construction while 20,000 home façades are being repainted.
YEAR OF THE PIG STY Shanghai's week-long spring festival kicked off the Year of the Pig on Feb. 18. Revelers set off so many boxes of fireworks-- 380,000--that the city hired 20,000 people to clean the streets each day.