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With World-leading Anti-epidemic Achievements  The Beijing Winter Olympics Will be Spectacular
China Minutes
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With World-leading Anti-epidemic Achievements The Beijing Winter Olympics Will be Spectacular

A new year has come, and everything has taken on a new aspect. The year 2021 has been an extraordinary year for the world. The COVID-19 vaccine was successfully developed, and mass vaccinations were offered; however, due to the varying anti-epidemic measures and efforts in each country and the frequent emergence of mutated strains, the coronavirus continues to ravage the world, devastating economies and lowering living standards. It is worth noting that China, one of the first countries to control the epidemic effectively, has made world-leading anti-epidemic achievements, not only achieving universal vaccination of its own population but also providing hundreds of millions of vaccines to countries around the world, which has made an essential contribution to the global fight against the epidemic. Its overall economy is "steadily growing" and is the biggest power source for global economic recovery. Looking ahead to 2022, the Beijing Winter Olympics will be the first "big test" for China's epidemic prevention and economic development, and the results of the "answer sheet" may profoundly impact its economic development throughout the year.

As we all know, China has always had a strict control and zero-tolerance policy against the pandemic, but with the new coronavirus variant Omicron ravaging the world, the upcoming Beijing Winter Olympics may face a severe test. The Beijing Winter Olympics will take place from 4 to 20 February, followed by the Winter Paralympic Games. While last summer's Summer Olympics in Tokyo were also challenged by the pandemic, the Beijing Winter Olympics will have unprecedentedly stringent anti-epidemic controls due to the current hyper-contagious mutated strain Omicron, which has caused an explosion of confirmed cases around the world, and the Chinese government's zero-tolerance policy towards viruses and outbreaks. According to official Chinese media reports, the Beijing Winter Olympics entered the countdown on 4 January, and on that day officially launched the closed-loop management before the Games in preparation for the world's most heavily controlled international competition since the COVID-19 outbreak. As with the Tokyo Olympic Games, the Beijing Winter Olympics will not sell tickets to international spectators, and domestic spectators may face restrictions if they wish to enter the games. Every participant will be tested daily and will have to wear a mask at all times. Olympic organisers have said that the test event, held earlier last year with around 2,000 overseas participants, showed that Beijing's anti-epidemic measures were effective, and Beijing reported that only a handful of athletes contracted the virus during the test event.

Of course, the COVID-19 pandemic is not the only challenge for the Beijing Winter Olympics. The United States and several of its allies have decided to adopt a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Winter Olympics, refusing to send high-level officials to attend because of accusations of human rights abuses in places such as Xinjiang and Hong Kong. However, the boycott by a few Western countries was doomed to fail, as evidenced by the fact that the EU countries did not follow suit. The Olympic Games provide a venue for athletes from all countries to showcase themselves, and also provide the best platform for learning and exchange to promote world peace, mutual understanding, cultural intermingling, and passing on civilisation and friendship, so any boycott of the Games on political grounds is unpopular. As the world's largest comprehensive winter sporting event, the significance of the Games for Beijing is also self-evident. In an environment of global epidemics and uncertainty surrounding the international Olympic movement, it is a testament to the Olympic spirit and the comprehensive national strength that the Beijing Winter Olympics will be held on time. At the same time, by hosting the Winter Olympics, China will help enhance its international image and influence, promote steady and long-term global sports governance, promote the integration and exchanges of Chinese and Western cultures, and enhance national confidence. Therefore, Beijing's determination and action to present a spectacular sporting event to the world cannot be underestimated.

As the opening of the Games draws near, Beijing, as the first 'double Olympic city' in history to host both the Summer and Winter Games, is well prepared to ensure that the established anti-epidemic restrictions are strictly enforced and the Games will be held safely on schedule. With the Winter Olympics coinciding with the traditional Chinese Lunar New Year, the warm and joyful Chinese people will hold a successful and spectacular global event, which will bring good wishes to all peoples in the world and encourage us to face up to the pandemic and emerge from the gloom to create a better future!

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