Construction of a high-speed railway connecting Beijing and Zhangjiakou is expected to begin this year and be completed by 2017 in preparation for the cities’ bid for the 2022 Winter Olympics, local officials have said.
Want China Times relays the news from Zhang Chunsheng, an official in charge of the bidding office under Zhangjiakou municipal government, who said the line will be a 174-km-long ‘cutting-edge’ advantage for the two cities bidding for the 2022 Winter Olympics.
Trains will take only 40 minutes to make the run from the capital to Zhangjiakou in neighboring Hebei province, a journey which currently takes at least four to five hours, according to Zhang.
After the new line is opened, the trains currently in operation will only be used to transport cargo, he said.
The Chinese Olympic Committee announced early in November of last year that the two cities would go for the joint bid, but even Beijing Sports Bureau chief Li Yingchuan admitted that the chances weren’t looking so good because, you know, smog.
Shanghai officials recently declared interest in bidding for the 2028 Olympics, which might be actually be more feasible considering, as Li said, there’s an unwritten rule regarding the rotation of countries hosting the games. “Since Pyeongchang won the 2018 bid, Beijing as another Asian city will face a daunting task to beat the odds,” Li said.
Representatives nonetheless consider the bid a great way to
boost community morale clean up the place. “If Shanghai makes a bid for the 2028 Summer Olympics, the bidding process, and Shanghai’s transformation and upgrade … will help raise the quality of society, culture and ecology [in the city],” said spokesperson Wang Xiaoshu at the second meeting of the 12th Shanghai Municipal People’s Political Consultative Congress. He added that the city would have to take “great action that will make the world notice” to increase its influence.
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