China Bids for 2022 Winter Olympics

Published on Author dickey

After the great economic success of the Beijing Summer Olympics in 2008, China is seeking to host the 2022 winter games. This time it would not take place exclusively in Beijing, but rather jointly in Beijing and Zhangjiakou (110 miles northwest of the capital). The plan would be fore Beijing to host the ice events while Zhangjiakou, which has a warmer climate, would host the snow sports. The committee that is making the bid believes that hosting the 2022 games would “show the comprehensive power of our country’s development, and raise our international influence.”

China has already taken steps to improve their chances of winning the bid. They are making plans to install a high-speed rail link between the two cities to decrease travel time to only 40 minutes. Furthermore, the efforts that Beijing made in 2008 to improve the city will still hold in to 2022.  In order to get the bid however, Beijing will have to do something about their pollution problem. Although Zhangjiakou has better air quality than Beijing, it is still not ideal for athletic competition.

If China does get the opportunity to host the 2022 Olympics, I believe that the whole country will reap the benefits. The Beijing Olympics improved the economy and tourism overall. It forced the city to prepare for the crowds by building improved transportation, decreasing pollution, and cleaning up the streets. Additionally, since China has recently seen slowed growth, hosting the Olympics would serve as a huge boon to their economy. It remains to be seen if the benefits of Beijing hosting the Olympics can overcome the hurdles they will have to jump over to have the committee accept their bid.




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5 Responses to China Bids for 2022 Winter Olympics

  1. Hosting the Olympics is always an honor for any country. Recently, this has been increasingly a sign of development. China, Brazil, and Russia, have all been making attempts and succeeding in hosting these worldwide games, ostensibly a global reiteration of their development. China’s intended implementation of a high-speed railway between Beijing and Zhangjiakou, limiting the travel time for the 110 mile stretch to 40 minutes is phenomenal. The ability to build high-speed railways can really enhance productivity as travel and transportation costs are reduced. Also, just on a convenience basis, an employee does not have to live in the city or immediate suburb of where he or she works. This is a benefit of a developing country: having the opportunity to build a cohesive network of high-speed transportation before infrastructure is built. America’s railway’s pale in comparison to those of Europe, Japan, and potentially China (among others).
    However, before China gets ahead of itself with production, as Olivia points out, the country needs to mitigate its air quality issues. Pollution was a key talking point during the 2008 Olympics and the issue has only been exacerbated since then. Although, as previous posts have mentioned, a number of cities have various test programs in place to reduce fossil fuel emission, if China is serious about ameliorating any future problem regarding air quality, the country will need to take serious steps soon, in order to smoothly transition into an economy that is slowing its rate of emissions and eventually aggregate emissions.

  2. I think that another Olympics in China would be great for the country. I was lucky enough to be in London for the 2012 Olympics, and I was able to see first hand the energy and buzz that is created throughout the host country. Since the Olympics, London saw a £9.9bn boost in trade and investment from hosting, proving that there can be real jobs and real money created from the games as long as it is done the right way. Planning these types of mega-events is very difficult however, as it needs to start nearly 10 years in advance. There is almost no room for error, but the positive impacts from the tourism and foreign attention can significantly boost the host economy.

  3. Economic analysis of past Olympics shows that the venues often have no value beyond the Games, yet cost US$ billions. That was true of the Beijing (summer) Olympics, lots of white elephant construction. It can provide the impetus to make useful infrastructure investments (cf. transportation projects in Rio de Janeiro) but the other components are hugely costly. So the overall conclusion is that it’s bad for the public purse to win a “bid”. Even if it does boost trade and investment, that only generates a modest amount of additional tax revenue, not enough to offset the losses on white elephants.

    So … does China need an Olympics as motivation to undertake generic improvements to infrastructure? The huge volume of construction of highspeed rail and commuter trains and subways and highways suggests that there are no political impediments – just the opposite, perhaps undue incentives – to do that with or without the Olympics. China needs weaker, not strong, incentives to construct “white elephant” projects that produce lots of lucrative contracts and land deals up front (aided and abetted by corruption). So my quick reaction is that hosting the Olympics is a BAD idea.

    Ditto if we ask about pollution – an Olympic bid won’t shift incentives to address that set of issues, particularly as Winter would be when they’re least visible (in the literal and the figurative sense).

  4. The Olympics is an honor for countries to host, yet the decision process on who receives this honor seems very convoluted. Britain and china seemed night and day as comparisons. Rio has seen seen social upheaval due to the games as people want their standards of living increased instead of useless “white elephant” projects. Tax payers feel the burden while foreigners and the games officials receive all the perks.

  5. I’m a big fan of the Winter Olympics. This plan sounds like it would be great for China. My favorite aspect of the Winter Olympics is definitely the hockey. I feel that China is perhaps a bit behind when it comes to competing in the winter events, and maybe that is a completely misguided belief. Nonetheless, it would be good for the Chinese to get more exposure to these winter sports to possibly develop new interests and athletes in China.