CHINA / SOCIETY
China to host Winter Olympics on time; IOC chief opposes politicization of Olympics
Published: May 07, 2021 07:55 PM
Photo taken on March 4, 2020 shows a rendering of the National Sliding Center for 2022 Winter Olympic Games in Beijing, China. During the Beijing Winter Olympic Games, the National Sliding Center will host bobsleigh, skeleton and luge events. (Xinhua)

Photo taken on March 4, 2020 shows a rendering of the National Sliding Center for 2022 Winter Olympic Games in Beijing, China. During the Beijing Winter Olympic Games, the National Sliding Center will host bobsleigh, skeleton and luge events. (Xinhua)



China is confident about hosting Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics on time, and China supports the Tokyo Olympics and will strengthen vaccine cooperation with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for the games, Chinese President Xi Jinping said on Friday in a phone call with IOC President Thomas Bach.

Xi said that China will continue to cooperate with the IOC in supporting the hosting of the Tokyo Olympic Games, and is ready to strengthen cooperation with the IOC on vaccines and jointly build an effective barrier to protect athletes' safety during the Games. 

A day ahead of their phone conversation, the IOC on Thursday announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with Pfizer and BioNTech SE to donate doses of the companies' COVID-19 vaccine to Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020, the IOC said on its website. 

A Beijing-based immunologist, who requested anonymity, told the Global Times on Friday that China is likely to provide Chinese vaccine doses to athletes and other personnel participating in the Tokyo Games after the World Health Organization (WHO) included them in the emergency use listing. WHO is expected to announce the decision by the end of this week. 

The immunologist said that it's necessary to diversify the vaccine types over production capacity concerns, possible quality problems, virus mutations and other emergencies.

Bach said in March that competitors at this year's Tokyo Olympics and the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics will be offered coronavirus vaccines bought from China, AFP reported. 

Some countries have purchased Chinese vaccines for their athletes. Ukraine started vaccinating national athletes of Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic teams with CoronaVac vaccine produced by Chinese company Sinovac in mid-April, Xinhua News Agency reported. 

Beijing's Yanqing district has finished inoculating 3,000 people working for the 2022 Beijing Olympics as of March. Yanqing is one of the competition zones for the Games, and the zone has four venues. They will host alpine skiing, bobsleigh and skeleton competitions during the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics and alpine skiing during the 2022 Beijing Paralympic Winter Games. 

Sports fans, volunteers and the public gather in front of the one-year countdown board of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games and shout 2022, here we come in co-host city Zhangjiakou, North China's Hebei Province. The Winter Games organizer unveiled the designs of the Olympic torches on Thursday, just one year to go before the Games start. Photo: VCG

Sports fans, volunteers and the public gather in front of the one-year countdown board of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games and shout "2022, here we come" in co-host city Zhangjiakou, North China's Hebei Province. The Winter Games organizer unveiled the designs of the Olympic torches on Thursday, just one year to go before the Games start. Photo: VCG



Xi said China is steadily pushing forward all preparations to meet the aim of hosting the Winter Olympics and Paralympics in Beijing as scheduled. All venues for the races have been completed and organization of the games is being carried out in order.

Xi stressed that the Beijing Winter Olympics and Paralympics are the feast of all countries and a stage of fair competition for all athletes. 

Bach said the IOC opposes politicizing the Olympic movement, stands ready to continue close cooperation with China and fully supports China in hosting the Winter Olympics and Paralympics in Beijing as scheduled. The Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics are due to take place between February 4 and 20, 2022. 

As the Beijing Winter Olympics and Paralympics approach, some anti-China forces could not wait to pass up the opportunity to use the high-profile sports event to vilify China. In February, Canada's House of Commons passed a motion that attacked Xinjiang and called for a relocation of the Olympics from Beijing. Some hawkish US senators also made similar calls. 

In April, US State Department spokesperson Ned Price acknowledged the US will discuss with allies whether to jointly boycott the games, while US Olympic and Paralympic Committee reiterated its opposition to the boycott, saying athletes should not be used as "political pawns." 


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