International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach has met with China's vice premier Sun Chunlan here in Beijing to discuss preparations for the capital city’s hosting of the 2022 Winter Olympic Games.
According to Chinese news agency Xinhua, Sun said that the Chinese Government attaches great importance to and strongly supports the preparations for Beijing 2022, stressing the aim of staging the Games in four years’ time on a green, sharing, open and clean basis.
She also stated that venue construction and basic infrastructure construction is accelerating, and that competition organising work and peripheral services are being strengthened.
Additionally, Sun explained that Beijing 2022 will coincide with a call for the development and popularisation of winter sports in China.
In March, the Bank of China, an official partner of Beijing 2022, launched its Winter Olympics action plan by providing CNY ¥30 billion (£3.5 billion/$4.7 billion/€4.0 billion) for Chinese winter sports from now through to 2024.
As reported by Xinhua, with the theme of "taking part in winter sports together", the Bank of China’s action plan aims to encourage 30 million Chinese families and 100 million Chinese people to take part in winter sports and give a boost to the sports industry.
Bank of China President Chen Siqing said the company will further improve service networks and diversify financial products in order to provide a wide range of best-quality financial services for Beijing 2022.
Through its global network and customer resource, it will also strive to increase people's enthusiasm for participation in winter sports on snow and ice, and support China's winter sports programme.
Bach is in Beijing for this week's official de-brief of the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games.
During the opening of the de-brief, he claimed that Olympic Agenda 2020, the strategic roadmap for the future of the Olympic Movement, is of special significance for Beijing 2022.
"This is because Beijing 2022 will be the first Winter Games to fully benefit from the reforms from the very outset," Bach said.
"Over the course of this de-brief, we will see how the spirit of Olympic Agenda 2020 is already now tangible in all organisational aspects of Beijing 2022.
"By making the Olympic Agenda 2020 recommendations a central feature of their planning and operating the Olympic Winter Games, both Pyeongchang and Beijing are leading the way for a new approach.
"They are demonstrating a new philosophy, a new way of doing things at the Olympic Games, guided by Olympic Agenda 2020."
Bach went onto say that the Beijing 2022 Organising Committee is already laying the foundation for the success of the Games.
"This is reflected in the fact that Beijing 2022 has made it mandatory to include sustainability in all areas of planning the Games," he added.
"In particular, the IOC is pleased that Beijing 2022 intends to use the Games as a catalyst to improve the health of the population, tackle environmental issues and promote sustainable economic growth in the region.
"These are all objectives in the spirit of Olympic Agenda 2020 to make the Olympic Games fit into the long-term development plan of a city and region."