Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Beijing Deja Vu

Here we go again... China bidding for another Olympic Games...
Have you heard that Beijing wants to do what no other city has ever done before and become the first metropolis to host both the Summer and Winter Olympic Games?

The Chinese capital has already put in its bid for 2022 and the only other city competing for the honour is Almaty, Kazakhstan because Oslo, Norway gave up, along with Lviv, Ukraine, and Krakow, Poland.

These other cities withdrew their applications either because their citizens were not interested in hosting the event, or the cost was too much -- particularly after it was revealed Russia spent $51 billion on the Sochi Games, more than the $40 billion China spent in 2008.

Here's the video to evoke the warm fuzzy feelings of the Olympic Games all over again:

It's pretty bizarre watching some of the Summer Olympics venues be turned into winter sport locations. The Water Cube transformed into the curling venue? Are they going to freeze the Olympic-sized swimming pool?

And Wukesong where basketball matches were held would be transformed into an ice hockey rink?

The city doesn't get much snow these days, which is why the downhill skiing portion would be held in Zhangjiakou, 200 kilometres northwest of Beijing.

So it pretty much looks like Beijing is the hands down winner -- but wait -- what about the air?

A few weeks ago the Beijing Marathon took place and city officials were embarrassed as runner had to breathe in the toxic air and several quit part way through the race, unable to breathe.

And now with the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit happening in a few days, the Chinese capital is still covered with haze and dangerously high air pollution levels.

Media director of Beijing's bid committee Wang Hui -- who by the way was also the media spokesperson during the Summer Games -- said the city would implement a two-step plan to clean the air with targets for 2017 and 2022.

"Beijing has called upon cooperation in major provinces and districts in northern China and will mobilize all its resources to clean up the air and bring down the air quality index value," Wang said. "We'll make sure by 2022 the air quality in Beijing is the best for athletes to compete."

Why should they only be concerned about athletes? Why not clean up the air for the residents of the city?

The China Face machine is back up and running again, fulfilling this need to present an image to the world and not being concerned about its own citizens.

If China wins again, what will Ai Weiwei do in response?


  1. Poor China -- can't do ANYTHING right, can it? But "we"(of course) can do NO WRONG, can we. So-o if China is polluted, we can stay away, or leave, can't we? As for Ai Weiwei et.al, I suspect there is nothing wrong, that can't be cured by his (somehow) taking up residence in Zhongnanhai -- relates to things like "EGO" maybe.

  2. I am not sure if it is a simple typo or your ability in your profession, what happens to checking and doublechecking your facts before publishing...

    "particularly after it was revealed Russia spent $51 million on the Sochi Games, more than the $40 million China spent in 2008"

    seeing a problem? your numbers are off by a factor of 1000.

    1. Hi nulle Where do you get your figures from?

  3. 50 billion is the popular figure quoted during the Sochi Games (technically now about 25 billion or so...) but compared to Beijing, the CCP claimed to have spent 40 billion usd on the 2008 games...

    Actual amounts spent on Sochi and Beijing Olympics are in the neighborhood of billions or tens of billions USD.

    I found your figures VERY LOW given olympics games ain't cheap for bidding, 50 million and 40 million USD for Sochi and Beijing quoted from this article???

    think about it, building all those stadiums and venues cost way more than 50 or 40 million USD quoted...just think about the amount of concrete and rebar plus labor used on each building... where DO YOU get YOUR figures from, copied from the People's Daily on just cut&pasted from Xinhua?

    1. We will never know exactly how much Russia and China spent. These are the figures they are giving us so that's what we are using. There is no way we can figure out exactly how much money was used unless they open the books, and they will never do that. And you blame me for reporting what you say are "VERY LOW" figures?

    2. Here is some apparently-needed "Guiding Light",
      From: WSJ Geoffrey A. Fowler in Beijing and Stacy Meichtry in Paris Updated July 16, 2008 12:01 a.m. ET

      "China's record spending on the Olympics, estimated to total $42 billion, is a big sum for a developing country to put into a two-week sports show..."

      These numbers are no State Secret -- they are common knowledge, from the Press, for the average-knowledgeable person.

  4. well, anon...the author of the above article claim Beijing and Sochi spent 40 and 51 **MILLION** USD on the 2008 and 2014 Olympics, respectively.

    General accepted figures are 40 **BILLION** and 51 **BILLION** for Beijing 2008 and Sochi 2014...actual amount spent probably 1/2 of the general accepted amount.

    Just net cost of concrete alone for all those stadiums exceed those numbers Mrs. Fragnant Harbour quoted... (Publish figures for Birds Nest alone 423 MILLION USD, Water Cube alone 140 MILLION USD)

    I think Mrs. Fragnant Harbour drank too much of her employers' kool-aid...

    1. You're correct, I'm wrong and have rectified the text. Happy now?