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Preparation work is on the right track! Beijing gets ready for 2022 Winter Olympics

Beijing will become the first city in the world to host both the Summer and Winter Olympic Games

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An image of 2012 Olympic Games. Wikimedia

Beijing, Dec 27, 2016: Beijing has wasted no time during the one and a half years since it won its bid to host the 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games along with Zhangjiakou city in July, 2015.

The Beijing Organising Committee for the 2022 Games, which was launched last December, said in its annual report released last week that preparation work is on the right track and will be speeded up next year, reports Xinhua news agency.

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Beijing’s work has been recognised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). The IOC Coordination Commission held talks with the Beijing 2022 Organising Committee and visited several venues during their first meeting in Beijing in October, and said they were pleased with Beijing’s preparations.

The IOC also praised the sustainability of Beijing’s work, saying it illustrated the vision of the Olympic Agenda 2020.

The committee for Beijing 2022 has taken full advantage of the legacy of the Beijing 2008 Olympics and Paralympic Games — including repurposing existing competition venues, other infrastructure and drawing on the experience of professionals with deep operational experience.

According to the Beijing Organising Committee, venue construction will be started in 2017 and completed by 2019, and all the venues will be ready for test events in 2020.

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There will be a total of 25 competition and non-competition venues for Beijing 2022. Twelve venues are in Beijing, among which 11 are legacies of the 2008 Olympic Games. The only new venue in Beijing will be the speed skating venue.

The conceptual design of the speed skating venue has been opened to international bidding and the final design will be selected soon. The construction will get underway next April.

The alpine ski competition will be held in Yanqing. Most of the courses for this event have been selected this year. Also in Chongli, the Gent Resort Secret Garden has built an Olympic standard half-pipe. Gent is the training base for the Chinese national half-pipe ski and snowboard teams, and will host the FIS Freestyle and Snowboard World Championships in 2021 as test events for the Olympic Games.

According to the Beijing Organising Committee, the emblem for the 2022 Winter Olympic Games will be unveiled in the second half of 2017, and marketing development will be underway soon.

The Beijing Organising Committee will launch first tier sponsorship recruitment in early 2017, and tier two in 2018. Exclusive sponsorship recruitment will start in 2019.

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Beijing has also put in efforts to encourage participation in winter sports, as China has vowed to encourage 300 million people in China to take up winter sports ahead of the 2022 Games.

At the 128th IOC Session in Kuala Lumpur last July, Beijing, along with Zhangjiakou in Hebei Province, beat Kazakhstan’s Almaty to win its bid to co-host the 2022 Winter Olympics.

Beijing will become the first city in the world to host both the Summer and Winter Olympic Games. (IANS)

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Trade Talks With China Proceeding Uninterrupted: White House

If both sides fail to reach a resolution to the trade war, U.S. duty rates on $200 billion in Chinese goods are due to rise to 25 percent from their current 10 percent

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Chinese Vice Premier Liu He attends the EU-China High-level Economic Dialogue at Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing, China, June 25, 2018. He is to meet his U.S. counterparts in Washington next week. VOA

The White House on Tuesday said high-level trade talks with Beijing were proceeding uninterrupted, quickly rebutting media reports that progress toward resolving their trade war had faltered.

Chinese Vice Premier Liu He is to meet his U.S. counterparts in Washington next week as the two sides work to resolve their trade disagreements by March 1, when a 90-day truce is due to expire, allowing U.S. import duties on Chinese goods to increase sharply.

Washington and Beijing imposed tit-for-tat tariffs on more than $360 billion worth of goods in two-way trade last year.

Trump initiated the trade war because of complaints over unfair Chinese trade practices — concerns shared by the European Union, Japan and others.

The Financial Times and CNBC both reported Tuesday afternoon that Washington had canceled a preliminary meeting set for this week ahead of Liu’s visit.

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A woman tries out a sweater at a U.S. retailer Gap’s flagship store in Beijing, Jan. 10, 2019. Uncertainty over the outcome of China-U.S. trade talks is casting a pall over Asian markets as both sides kept quiet about what lies ahead.

American officials had reportedly cited a lack of progress on the most difficult issues in the trade dispute — including allegedly forced technology transfers and far-reaching structural reforms to China’s economy.

The reports sent Wall Street even further into the red. U.S. stocks had already opened lower on downgraded forecasts for global economic growth.

But, shortly before the close of trading in New York, top White House economic aide Larry Kudlow flatly denied the reports during an appearance on CNBC.

“With respect, the story is not true,” Kudlow said. “There was never a planned meeting that was canceled.”

Stock prices recovered some of their losses following his remarks but still finished substantially lower for the day.

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White House chief economic adviser Larry Kudlow talks with reporters about trade negotiations with China, at the White House, Dec. 3, 2018. VOA

Kudlow said the United States continued to press the Chinese on the subject of intellectual property and state intervention in markets, among other matters.

He also said American officials were insisting that any agreement have teeth to ensure Beijing’s compliance.

“Enforcement is absolutely crucial to the success of these talks,” Kudlow said.

“Will it be solved at the end of the month? I don’t know. I wouldn’t dare predict and want to make sure people understand how important that is to put it on the table.”

Also Read: Amidst Weakened Domestic Demand, China Expected To Report Slow Economic Growth

If both sides fail to reach a resolution to the trade war, U.S. duty rates on $200 billion in Chinese goods are due to rise to 25 percent from their current 10 percent, a prospect that has shaken markets in recent months.

Last year, the Chinese economy posted its slowest annual growth in nearly three decades, according to official figures published Monday in Beijing, underscoring concerns the trade conflict with the United States could sap the strength of the world’s second-largest economy and harm global growth in the process. (VOA)