Bid win will boost regional links, create jobs

Updated: 2015-08-01 07:25

By Zheng Jinran(China Daily)

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Success fits with the national project to integrate development and control pollution, mayor says

Bid officials said winning the hosting rights for the 2022 Winter Olympics will fuel regional integration between Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei province, especially on transportation, air pollution control and tourism.

Beijing hosting the Games with Zhangjiakou in Hebei fits nicely with the national project to pursue integrated development between the three areas, according to Wang Anshun, Beijing's mayor.

Wang said on Friday that a successful bid would greatly fuel the industrial structure of the combined region by offering improved infrastructure facilities.

The joint rights would also require closer cooperation between the two host cities, advance efforts to control air pollution and boost winter sports, related industries and tourism, which could create more jobs and improve residents' livelihoods, Wang said.

China has designated three venue clusters in downtown Beijing, Yanqing county and Zhangjiakou.

All the ice events, including speedskating, ice hockey and curling, will be held in downtown Beijing. A Nordic and Biathlon Center will be built in Zhangjiakou and an Alpine Ski Center in Yanqing county, northwest Beijing.

According to a report by the Hebei Academy of Social Sciences, a successful bid means that Zhangjiakou will prepare for the Games by creating more than 400,000 jobs for local residents before 2022.

"The per capita income of residents in Chongli county reached 6,840 yuan ($1,115) last year and that of those living near the ski resorts was higher - more than 40,000 yuan," He Jianghai, deputy Party chief of Zhangjiakou, told the media on July 8.

According to He, last year more than 20,000 local residents joined the booming tourism and related industries, accounting for one-sixth of the county's population.

Bid win will boost regional links, create jobs

The county has built a digital urban management center and will promote transportation, entertainment, healthcare facilities and other services for residents, He added.

Construction of a high-speed rail link between Beijing and Zhangjiakou has been speeded up and is scheduled for completion by 2019.

Within five years, 1,500 km of rail line will be operating in the region, placing it among the highest regional concentrations of rail lines globally, according to the national economic planner, which will help with exchanges between residents and businesses.

The joint bid will also promote the dual control of air pollution, according to Wang Hui, deputy secretary-general and spokeswoman for the Beijing 2022 bid committee.

Zhangjiakou, about 200 kilometers from Beijing, has abundant wind, solar and biomass resources and has set a goal to establish a world leading "low-carbon Olympic zone".

The city aims to increase renewable energy generation of its total electricity consumption to 55 percent by 2020, according to a development plan approved by the State Council, China's Cabinet.

(China Daily 08/01/2015 page2)