With two months to go before the voting to decide the 2008 Olympic hosting right, Beijing is busy preparing for the final presentation to win the confidence of International Olympic Committee (IOC) members.
In an interview with several foreign guests, Jiang Xiaoyu, vice president of Beijing Bid Committee, said, "To host the most prestigious Games in the most populous developing country will be a creation and promotion of the Olympic spirit.”
The five foreign guests whom Jiang met are from German, Canada and Japan. They are now working in Beijing and are interested in Beijing’s Olympic bid.
"Beijing's pursuit of the Olympic spirit and for a better environment is sincere and longstanding, bearing nothing with the outcome of the vote in July 13th in Moscow," he said.
Since the modern Olympic movement started in 1896, only two out of the total of 24 Olympics were held in Asia--Tokyo in 1964 and Seoul in 1988.
Jiang said, "Although China's achievement is blended in the sports cause, the country has never had the honor to host an Olympic games. To do so has become a dream of all the Chinese people, either living in China or overseas.”
The Olympic creed encourages more people to get better acquainted through sports without regard to sex, race, color or religious belief.
The Taiwan Olympic Committee has formally expressed its support for Beijing's bid. Though the International Olympic chapter limit all contests to be held in the host city, Taiwan has indicated its willingness to host some events if the IOC agrees. And Beijing has showed interest to co-hosting the Games across the straits.
"If Beijing can get the hosing right, the 2008 Games would be, in a true sense, the first Games run by developing countries instead of always dominated by developed powers." Jiang stated.
Responding to Lisa Carducci's (Canada) worry about Beijing's ability to apply advance technologies required by a modern Games, Jiang explained, “As the most prestigious sports event, the Olympic Games requires mass application of hi-tech research achievements in the fields of doping tests, R&D of sports facilities, design and construction of modern stadiums, efficient transportation network management and even online Video on Demand.
"Though China is a developing country, Beijing has long taken hi-tech industry as its development focus and placed immense resources into scientific infrastructure construction. Beijing is home to many universities and scientific research centers including some labs of world advanced level. Over 70 percent of the academicians of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Chinese Academy of Engineering are based in Beijing. Beijing is rich in talents, the software and the infrastructure hardware to stage the 2008 Games," Jiang emphasized.
Jiang did not avoid mentioning environment issues, saying, "Though after two years' arduous efforts in environment improvement, the result is far from satisfactory.”
"Long before Beijing launched its bid for 2008 Games, the Beijing municipality formulated an environment protection plan worth US$12 billion. By 2000, we had invested US$3.6 billion in environment protection along with another US$5.5 billion investment in 2003-2008." Jiang told Louise Cadieux from Canada.
According to Jiang, Beijing's air pollution is mainly dust discharged by coal burning. According to Beijing's plan, annual gas consumption will be raised from 1 billion cubic meters to 5-6 billion meters to rectify the energy structure. And those pollution-causing enterprises and factories will face upgrading, resettlement or closure. More trees will be planted and car waste gas discharge control will be tightened to improve air quality.
"Though the environment quality is not pleasant now, we will make every effort to improve. We will make the air as good as that of Paris when 2008 comes." Jiang promised.
Compared to the population condition, sports stadium and facilities are relatively insufficient. With the improvement of living standards, Chinese citizens show more interest in sports and exercising. More and more sports zones have been built in communities and public places.
"We need to build 32 new stadiums for the 2008 Games. Only five are out of Beijing and only eight exclusive for Olympic Games. The other 24 stadium, which have been included in the municipal construction plan, have no bearing on the outcome of vote. Namely, they will be constructed to facilitate Beijing citizens to step into professional stadiums to have fun, no matter whether Beijing's bid is successful or not," Jiang explained.
Predicting the vote in July 13 in Moscow, Jiang admitted a disadvantage that only 49 percent of the IOC members have visited Beijing.
"I worry the IOC members with voting rights might lack sufficient knowing of Beijing and western media probably do not give comprehensive reports on Beijing." Jiang said.
Over 90 percent of IOC members have visited Paris, which might play a role in their voting.
"No matter what will finally come to Beijing, Beijing's pursuit of Olympic spirits will never change. More Chinese people will engage in the Olympic movement and contribute to its spread and promotion," Jiang told the visiting foreign guests.
(CIIC by Alex 05/17/2001)