Chinese Vice Premier Han Zheng instructed local governments and the Organizing Committee for the Beijing 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Games on Thursday to make efforts to overcome the challenges brought by the COVID-19 outbreak and push forward the preparatory work.
Han, also a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, made the remarks at a meeting of the leading group which oversees the Beijing 2022 preparations.
Han acknowledged that the novel coronavirus pandemic has affected the country's preparations for the 2022 Winter Olympics and Paralympics in a number of ways, calling for more efforts to be made in areas such as venue construction and Games services, while disease prevention and control measures need to be maintained.
"We must ensure the construction of all the competition venues are completed by the end of this year and be ready for test events," he said.
Competition venues for Beijing 2022 are split into three clusters, with curling, ice hockey and skating events due to be held in urban Beijing.
The Yanqing venue cluster, which lies between Beijing and Zhangjiakou, is set to stage Alpine skiing, bobsleigh, skeleton and luge competitions, while Chongli in Zhangjiakou is the planned site for freestyle skiing, snowboarding, cross-country, Nordic combined, ski jumping and biathlon events.
Han also highlighted the importance of drawing up an epidemic prevention and control work plan in case of a health emergency during the 2022 Winter Games.
In order to "host an Olympics as pure and clean as snow", Han reiterated that there must be strict budget management and supervision.
China had set a target of encouraging 300 million of the country's citizens to take up winter sports.
To achieve that goal, Han called for continuous efforts to promote winter sports among the general public.
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