Beijing 2022: Together for a Shared Future
Ambassador to Antigua and Barbuda Zhang Yanling Contributes a Signature Article to PointExpress and Daily Observer
25 January 2022
In less than ten days, the XXIV Winter Olympic Games will open on February 4th in Beijing.
In his 2022 New Year Address, President Xi Jinping of China announced that as the world is turning its eyes to China, and China is ready. The venues, facilities and supporting staff for the Beijing Winter Olympic Games are all in place. The Olympic villages will officially open on January 27, welcoming about 2,900 athletes from more than 90 National Olympic Committees.
Ever since July 2015, when Mr Thomas Bach, President of International Olympic Committee, announced that Beijing was awarded the right to host the 2022 Winter Olympic Games, China has been making great efforts in advancing venue and facility preparation and ensuring operation capability and Games service of the highest standards, following a green, inclusive, open and clean approach to hosting the Winter Olympics.
Guided by the concept of hosting a green Olympics, the organizing committee of Beijing 2022 set out a sustainable vision known as “Sustainability for the Future” to ensure that Beijing 2022 plays an active role in meeting the UN Sustainable Development Goals. For this purpose, China has made best use of existing venues and facilities, most of which are 2008 Beijing Summer Olympic venues. The only newly-constructed facility is the National Speed Skating Oval- “Ice Ribbon”. The National Stadium, dubbed the “Bird’s Nest”, will stage the opening and closing ceremonies of the Winter Games. The National Aquatics Center, known as the “Water Cube” during the 2008 Olympics, has become an “Ice Cube”. The Wukesong Sports Center has been transformed for ice hockey events from a basketball stadium. All the stadiums are low-carbon and have met the green building standards. Carbon dioxide transcritical direct cooling ice-making technology will be used in the National Speed Skating Oval, resulting in near-zero carbon emissions. Beijing 2022 will be the first Olympic Games where all venues are powered by green electricity and the first to use CO2 refrigeration technology in large scale. Additionally, more than 80% of the vehicles during the Games will be energy-saving and clean energy vehicles will be used to build a low-carbon transportation system. With the above mentioned and other efforts, all the carbon emissions generated during Beijing 2022 will be neutralized.
Thanks to the strong support from the international community, the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly in December 2021 adopted by consensus the Beijing Winter Olympic Truce Resolution with 173 countries co-sponsoring, which was record high in terms of co-sponsorships for the truce resolutions for recent sessions of the Olympic Games. The resolution reaffirms the important role played by sport in promoting peace and sustainable development and calls for the building of a peaceful and better world through sport and the Olympic ideal.
Indeed, the Olympic Games is a grand event for athletes. It serves as a stage for athletes from all over the world to gather for friendly competition and promote the Olympic spirit. The principle of political neutrality of sports is affirmed in the Olympic Charter. We stand ready to join hands with people from all countries to register an objection to the politicization of sports and to the despicable practices of exploiting sports and sportsman for political agenda. Rather, we shall work together to make the Olympic movement contribute to a peaceful future for all humankind through the educational value of sport, in particular youth.
Not long ago, under the auspices of the Antigua and Barbuda and China Friendship Association, young people from Antigua and Barbuda participated in the International Youth Painting Invitational Competition and Exhibition hosted by China, and won awards out of more than 1,900 paintings created by youngsters from around 45 countries. The works of the Antiguan and Barbudan participants, with rich colors and vivid strokes, reflected their understanding of winter sports and sportsmanship and are absolutely amazing. These works not only conveyed the best wishes of the young people of Antigua and Barbuda for the Beijing Winter Olympic Games, and also demonstrated once again the friendly relations between our two peoples. I hope the Beijing Winter Olympics will be a new starting point for strengthening sports cooperation between our two countries.
A streamlined, safe and splendid Winter Olympic Games will be soon staged. It is our sincere hope that Beijing 2022 will provide an opportunity for all the countries and peoples to enhance mutual understanding, deepen friendship, promote cooperation and work together for a shared future.