Mayor Anshun: Beijing is right choice

M5JtAkbJMayor of Beijing Wang Anshun, president of the Beijing 2022 Bid Committee, spoke to media on Tuesday (2 June) on the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Evaluation Commission report which was released on Monday.

“The report has confirmed our belief that Beijing 2022 offers assured Games delivery and a huge potential for winter sport,” Wang said. “We are confident that we are on the right track to convince the IOC members that Beijing is the right choice for a successful 2022 Olympic Winter Games.”

Wang explained the four advantages of Beijing to host the game. First, it has secured funding and full support from government. Second, hosting a Winter Games is the shared aspiration of the Chinese people. Third, Beijing 2008 Games’ experience and legacy will be put into full use in order to provide the athletes with the best experience. Fourth, Beijing has a wealth of operations experience (including an existing pool of high-level professionals) and much more.

“It has been a boost for our bid that the IOC Evaluation Commission has praised our work in the areas that we consider central for our Bid, such as our focus on athletes, sustainability and cost-efficiency,” he said, and pointed out that the commission recognized the significant impact that the Beijing 2008 Games had on the city and the opportunity for the Bid to capitalize on the experience and expertise gained from hosting the 2008 Beijing Games and the 2014 Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, which “has benefited the 2022 bid and would benefit a 2022 Beijing Games across many operational areas”.

The Beijing 2022 Bid Committee has ensured that the areas in Yanqing and Zhangjiakou designated for outdoor snow sports, such as skiing, snowboard and biathlon, meet the snow fall standards of the International Olympic Committee. “Data included in official reports released by the Beijing Meteorological Bureau, as well as thorough analysis of meteorological data of the past decade, notably show that the weather conditions will be adequate in these areas both for the forecasted period of the Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games,” he explained.

Given that five ski resorts have already been operating successfully in Zhangjiakou, no further snow-making measures will be implemented just for the Games in addition to what is already in place or factored in the plan of the ski resorts’ development regardless of the Games. Artificial snow-making facility covers all the ski resorts, and the water-storage ponds and water delivery systems needed for artificial snow-making are also already in place.Besides, regional authorities are set to implement a strict evaluation system on water resource development and use, adopt a differentiated system of water prices and eco-compensation, and promote water saving and reasonable development and utilization, to create maximum ecological, economic, and social benefits.

Wang also said the Beijing 2022 Bid Committee works in close collaboration with the public authorities of Beijing, Yanqing and Zhangjiakou areas in order to ensure the best environmental conditions for athletes to train and compete at the 2022 Games.“Improving pollution was made a priority for these authorities long before the idea of Beijing 2022 came into existence,” he said. “The improvements are real and are the results of a wide range of concrete measures.”

As part of China’s 12th Five-Year Plan for National Economic and Social Development (2011-2015), US$468 billion has been invested in creating a green, low-carbon economy with special attention to key economic sectors. In line with the above, the Beijing Municipal Environmental Protection Bureau adopted earlier this year legally binding regulations for reducing air pollution and it is determined to ensure that the city meets official standards for air quality by 2022, in particular reducing the concentration of PM2.5. The city authorities plan to allocate a significant portion of funding towards air pollution treatment in the next five years, which amounts to nearly 50 billion Yuan (US$8.06 billion).“Recently released studies by Greenpeace have revealed a decrease of more than 13% in the average level of PM 2.5 in our city’s air during the first quarter of 2015.

All of these statistics give us confidence that, while there is still a lot to do, we are moving in the right direction,” he said.Improving the air quality will not only benefit the Games, but will more importantly remain as a long-term legacy for people living in the region. “If successful, Beijing 2022 Games would be one of the direct beneficiaries of these positive changes, “he claimed.“We have followed the IOC’s technical requirements, and made full use of our Olympic legacy and our rich experience of hosting international events. At the same time, we have made practical plans based on suggestions made by domestic and international experts as well as athletes,” Wang told the media.

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