ew stage of preparation for the Games,” said Chen Jining, mayor of Beijin
g and executive president of the 2022 Winter Olympics Organizing Committee. “We will end
eavor to deliver a fantastic, extraordinary and excellent Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.”
The 1,000-day countdown — launched near the iconic Bird’s Nest and the
Water Cube, both 2008 venues — underlined Beijing’s focus on sustainability in prepa
ring a second time for an Olympic extravaganza by reusing existing resources built for the Summer Games.
According to the 2022 Winter Olympics organizing committee, 11 of the 13 v
enues needed in Beijing’s downtown, where all ice sports will be staged, will use existing faciliti
es built for 2008. Repurposing projects, such as transforming the Water Cube (which hosted swimming in 2008) into a
curling arena by filling the pool with steel structures and making ice on the surface, are well underway.
Companies upbeat on 2-year-old new area as goals in place for development
Xiongan New Area, which was first announced two years ago, has been attracting
increasing attention from foreign companies given its huge development potential.
Located about 100 kilometers southwest of Beijing, Xiongan is aiming to become a significant part
of the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei cluster, and plans to take over Beijing’s noncapital functions and pr
ovide a Chinese solution to “big city malaise”, including overcrowding, pollution and traffic congestion.
On April 1, 2017, China announced plans to establish Xiongan New Area, which an official statemen
t called “a strategy that will have lasting importance for the millennium to come, and a significant national event”.
Massimo Bagnasco, vice-president of the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China, said tha
t there are many opportunities for foreign companies to benefit from Xiongan.
Italian daily newspaper Corriere della Sera on Wednesday ahead of his European tour, with visits to Italy, Monaco and France.
Though far apart from each other, China and ancient Rome were linked by the old Silk Road over 2,000 years ago, Xi said in the ar
ticle, mentioning the cultural exchanges between the two countries in the distant past.
He said Beijing is willing to deepen cooperation with Rome in such areas as land and marine transportation, avia
tion, aerospace and cultural exchanges to build the Belt and Road in the new era.
“I’m willing to avail myself of this visit to work with Italian lea
ders on the blueprint of Sino-Italian relations and lead the ties into the new era,” Xi said.
He called on the two sides to tap more potential for partnership
in port logistics, shipping, energy, telecommunications and medicine, and encourage enterprises fr
om both countries to develop third-party cooperation to seek mutual benefit and win-win results.