Beijing Olympic Stadium Renovation to be complete by October
After a one-year delay due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Olympic Games are set to take place in Tokyo later this week. The event will be held from Friday 23 July until Sunday 8 August, but due to the virus, no fans will be allowed into the stadiums.
The venues of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic Games
With this in mind, it has been announced that the construction of the facilities for the Winter Olympic Games will be complete by October. Located in Beijing, the structures include for the games include the Beijing National Stadium, where the opening and closing ceremonies will take place, the Beijing National Indoor Stadium, which will house ice hockey games, and the National Speed Skating Oval. Other venues are organised into “clusters” for events such as skiing and biathlon.
Construction progress so far
Currently, 53 of the 57 Winter Olympic projects in Beijing and nearby Yanqing have been finished, while the remaining four, including renovation of the National Stadium, known as the Bird's Nest and are due for completion in coming months.
The Beijing sites will host snow events, while Yanqing, a mountainous subdivision of the Beijing municipality, and Zhangjiakou in neighbouring Hebei province, will host ice events such as Alpine skiing and snowboarding. China announced in June that all 76 Winter Olympics projects in Zhangjiakou had been completed.
The Tokyo Olympic Games 2021
Due to COVID-19, for the Tokyo summer Olympics, which was originally due to take place last year, the venues were completed in 2020 with the aquatics centre, known officially as the Ariake Arena, being the last venue to be built in February.
The main stadium, which holds 68,000 people, was constructed from wood and steel and was the first of the venues to be built in November 2019. Thanks to a unique cooling system, the stadium was designed to keep its occupants cool in the heat of a Tokyo summer.
Image: The ski slope for the 2022 Winter Olympic Games. Credit: Reuters.
China Launches UN-Backed Sustainable Procurement Programme
On Monday, China announced its latest public procurement leap. Facing serious environmental problems, one of which is stifling pollution, the nation’s government wants to clean up its act. At Xihongqiao Tonglian, an industrial park near China’s International Import Expo, the China International Centre for Economic and Technical Exchanges, the UN Development Programme, and the Qingpu District Government signed their commitment to the new programme: ‘Knowledge Sharing, Capacity Building, and Supporting Service on Sustainable Procurement’.
How’s China’s Green Procurement History?
Well, it’s relatively short—a product of the late and great 1990s. Academics talk about it in three stages:
- 1993-2003. China introduces pilot bidding programmes in Shanghai (1996) and Shenzhen (1997), in addition to signing the Government Procurement Law and the Clean Production Promotion Law of the People’s Republic of China.
- 2004-2007. China tries to pass additional legislation that makes procurement more centred around people.
- 2007-present. China seeks to meet World Trade Organisation (WTO) requirements, specifically, its Agreement on Government Procurement.
Furthermore, let’s not forget the 2008 Beijing Olympics, in which Chinese committees implemented green procurement while building Olympic training and performance facilities. Obviously, there is some measure of central government support. Yet the path forward will have its share of challenges.
What’s the Problem, Mate?
China’s green procurement industry is handicapped by infrequent media coverage, lack of specificity in its rules and regulations, and a dearth of subsidies. For example, its Government Procurement Method states that officials should give priority to eco-friendly, high-tech products—but fails to define exactly what that entails and how procurement decisions should be made.
In addition, many Chinese firms illegally label non-green materials and products as green. One must point out that this isn’t, and never will be, a purely Chinese problem—greenwashing is a worldwide trend—but it does represent yet another constraint on the nation’s sustainable public procurement. If companies can’t trust that the products they source are as labeled, any green agreements in procurement will carry less cachet.
How Will This Program Affect Chinese Procurement?
For many Chinese businesses, green procurement efforts seem long overdue—especially ones that directly benefit businesses like the new Sustainable Procurement programme. Rather than setting strict rules and regulations over what companies can and cannot purchase, the central government will now equip smaller Chinese firms with the resources to enter the green market.
First, it’ll offer a platform for Chinese businesses to get involved in the global public procurement market, with the ultimate aim of carbon neutrality. Second, it will provide resources and support to small- and medium-sized businesses (SMEs), along with female-owned firms. Third, it will allow Chinese companies, especially in the Yangtze River Delta region, to participate in procurement for the United Nations.
Fundamentally, this will tie China’s efforts into a larger international effort to improve public procurement. And as the U.S. and Europe start to kick back against China’s market dominance,
China will benefit from close ties with international organisations such as the WTO and the UN. Said Xu Jian, acting governor of Qingpu District: ‘This is a win-win situation’.