BEIJING - With Beijing struggling to clear polluted skies before the Olympics next month, the nearby industrial port of Tianjin has ordered 40 factories to suspend some operations at the end of the month as part of an effort to improve air quality during the games and the Paralympics competition that follows, state news media reported.

The planned shutdowns in Tianjin, about 70 miles east of Beijing, are one piece of a regional plan that is expected to result in temporary factory closings or slowdowns across a large part of northern China.

Beijing's air quality remains a major concern for the games as the city continues to struggle with pollution, despite a $20 billion government cleanup campaign. Beijing is also a victim of its neighborhood: Pollution blows in from surrounding regions that are dotted with coal mines, steel mills, cement factories and other heavy industry.

The Olympics' opening ceremony is Aug. 8, and meteorologists have said factories must begin closing a few weeks beforehand. The shutdowns in Tianjin will be from July 25 to Sept. 30, after the end of the Paralympics, according to the state-run news agency Xinhua. Tianjin is a host city for the Olympic soccer competition.