BEIJING (Reuters) – Money must be spent properly for the 2022 Winter Olympics that China is to host and no “grandiose” projects must be allowed, President Xi Jinping said on Monday, as he toured sites for the Games.
Beijing and the nearby city of Zhangjiakou won the right to host the Games in 2015. The only other city bidding was Almaty in Kazakhstan, after other competitors dropped out, citing costs and other worries.
While Beijing hosted the 2008 Summer Games to wide acclaim, its bid for the Winter Games was dogged by concern over numerous issues, such as corruption, the city’s notorious smog, a lack of snow and China’s poor human rights record.
Touring Zhangjiakou, where outdoor events like skiing will be held, Xi said costs must be kept under control, according to state news agency Xinhua.
“All projects must show the principle of the thrifty and intensive use of resources and the most effective use of resources,” it paraphrased Xi as saying.
“Don’t go in for grandiose projects or rashly put up establishments,” he added, without elaborating.
The budget for the Games has been pegged at around $3 billion, far less than the $51 billion Russia spent on Sochi in 2014.
(Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)