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China hopes the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics conveys message of unity to the world

China hopes that the Olympic Spirit can convey to the world that there is more to international relations than geopolitical games.

China hopes that the Olympic Spirit can convey to the world that there is more to international relations than geopolitical games.

Published Feb 25, 2022

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This year marks the 50th anniversary of former US president Richard Nixon's visit to China in 1972. Over the past few years we have seen the relationship between US and China being strained and all we can hope for is that the amicable relations between the US Olympic and Paralympic Committee and its Chinese counterpart as well as the friendship forged between athletes from both countries during the current Games should serve as a reminder to US politicians that their politicization of the Games in Beijing is not in the interest of both countries.

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The friendship forged between athletes from different countries should deliver a message to politicians in all countries that globalization and multilateralism are the right way for the international community to seek common development and address the common challenges facing humanity.

With the Beijing Games, China hopes that the Olympic Spirit can function as a vehicle to convey to the world that there is more to international relations than geopolitical games. We all need to be far more intentional at appreciating our common humanity. We must all realise that sports presents the opportunity to create the soft relations necessary to ensure its easier to create the formal diplomatic relations and attract much needed partnership, investment and opportunities.

The 50th anniversary of Nixon's visit along with the Beijing Winter Olympics and Paralympics should serve as food for thought for US politicians on China-US relations.

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When we are to assess the comradery and Olympic indicative in the Winter Olympic games, juxtaposed to the on-going propagation of falsehoods by the US towards China, we are a far cry from the creation of environments of mutual respect and appreciation.

The US should reflect honestly about what it has been doing in its attempt to contain the rise of China, such as its military activities in the South China Sea, its meddling in the Taiwan question and its acts to estrange China's relations with its neighbours, and consider not only the damage those actions have done to China-US relations, but also their broader downsides to the global situation as a whole, which serve no country's interests.

When all is said and done we must all appreciate the effort and sacrifice it must have taken to put together the games in such a spectacular manner. The games saw over 109 medal events taking place and all of them were done efficiently and professionally. The closing ceremony was held on Sunday 20th February 2022 at the National Stadium in Beijing, the first ever city to have hosted both the Summer and Winter Olympics. The Olympic baton now has been passed to the Italian cities Milan and Cortina d'Ampezzo, which will host the 2026 Winter Games.

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Inspiring stories of breakthroughs also came at the National Speed Skating Oval, where Sweden's Nils van der Poel lowered his own previous world record in 10,000m and local favourite Gao Tingyu became the first-ever Chinese male Olympic gold medallist in speed skating.

The host nation dispatched a 388-member contingent, including 177 athletes. With its largest-ever presence in the Winter Games, China recorded its best-ever Winter Olympic haul of 15 medals, while powerhouse Norway leads the medal count with 37 medals, 16 of which are gold.

With more than 10,000 athletes, journalists and officials from around the world having descended on Beijing, the organizers met the daunting challenge of ensuring the highest health and safety standards for the Games by employing a closed loop system that went into operation in late January. According to Timo Lumme, managing director of television and marketing services for the IOC, about two billion people worldwide have been tuning in to watch the Olympics.

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The IOC-owned Olympic social media accounts have surpassed 2.7 billion engagements for Beijing 2022.

The Games were also a chance to display some of the technological advancements being explored in China, particularly when it relates to Green Energy. Several technologies were applied for the first time to realize a carbon-neutral event. All competition venues were powered with renewable energy, marking a first in the Games' history.

As a gesture of the Games' sustainable intent, the National Speed Skating Oval in downtown Beijing - which measures 12,000 square meters - is the first Olympic venue in the world to use carbon dioxide for making ice. The impressive Big Air Shougang has seen the world's top snowboarders flying down ramps built on the side of former cooling towers, but the gigantic ski ramp rising from a disused steel mill was designed with a bigger agenda: boosting the winter sports industry and tourism.

The boost in winter sports was apparent when as far back as last October, around 346 million people -- about a quarter of China's population -- had participated in winter sports since China's successful bid to host the Winter Olympics, according to the National Bureau of Statistics. China's winter sports industry is projected to achieve one trillion RMB in value by 2025.

The games and the cultural experience that accompanied this year's Games showed us that Sports can definitely promote friendship between people from different countries and positively impact international relations. The "ping-pong diplomacy" of 51 years ago is a case in point. It opened the door to friendship not just between the Chinese and US players, but also the development of relations between China and the United States.

Amid the frustrations that have soured bilateral relations in the past couple of years, the current Games offer an opportunity for athletes from China and the US to communicate and hopefully promote more understanding between the two peoples.

"Let the Olympic spirit of peace, mutual respect, and understanding shine throughout the Games and beyond," said UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in a video message to the opening of the Games on February 4

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