With China's zero-Covid policy, the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics will be one of those first events where China opens its doors amid the pandemic to a large number of foreign visitors. Beijing seems to have prepared itself, with recent announcements of explicit vaccination rules and a closed-loop management system to keep all involved in a supervised bubble. While the Covid-19 regulations for the Beijing Winter Olympics look set to be stricter than those for the Tokyo Olympics, domestic spectators will be allowed at the Beijing Games, unlike the Tokyo Games which limited the attendance of domestic spectators or totally banned them in certain venues. Can Beijing pull off a spectacular Winter Olympics despite heightening global tensions and the pandemic?
Reflecting on the background of Chinese diving Olympic champion Quan Hongchan, David Ng makes some observations about the urban-rural divide in China. He notes that after years of China’s rapid development, rural folk are still playing catch up economically, but they have not ruled themselves out of achieving success. Their own motivation will get them far, sometimes even as far as achieving Olympic glory.
Lianhe Zaobao’s China Desk examines China’s obsession with Olympic gold, whether for sports or geopolitical reasons. Chinese netizens are gaining notoriety for their sometimes searing comments on Chinese and foreign Olympians. Meanwhile, China's state media is busy steering public opinion towards being less fixated on gold medals and to have a more holistic view of the Olympic Games. Not only that, young Chinese Olympians are being profiled and praised. Could the positivity and dynamism of the post-00s generation be the best face of China’s future?
A week into the Tokyo Olympics and the Chinese internet is already a minefield of anti-Japan sentiments. Displeasure ranges from Japan’s win over China in the table-tennis mixed doubles to perceived slights against China. By playing the nationalism card, Chinese netizens are not doing China any favours in the run-up to next year’s Beijing Winter Olympics.
Technology specialist Yin Ruizhi examines the psychology of getting into “the zone” when playing games and the comfort of being immersed in a more egalitarian world.
As Beijing prepares to host the 2022 Winter Olympics, the spectre of human rights violations in Xinjiang looms large, with campaigners clamouring for the Games to be used to pressure Beijing. Zaobao correspondent Yang Danxu finds out how China is planning to handle the situation.