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China highlights Beijing 2022 progress; rather quiet on snowmaking

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Pyeongchang, South Korea (dpa) - China highlighted that construction for the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics is in full swing while trying to defuse questions on the sensitive issue of artificial snow-making at the ski venues.

Organizing committee BOCOG spokesman Chang Yu told a news conference on Sunday that Beijing is striving for "green, inclusive, open and clean" Games which "drives all our preparations" and was also in line with the politics of the nation‘s president, Xi Jinping.

Speaking at the Pyeongchang Games, which end on Sunday, Chang said that existing venues from the 2008 Summer Games such as the iconic Bird‘s Nest stadium and Water Cube would be used again as part of the legacy programme.

The mountain venues for ski events outside the capital see little precipitation and there are big fears that making snow from water from local rivers could harm local agriculture.

Chang did not answer directly when asked about it a first time at the news conference, and when quizzed about it again only said that "we have enough resources for water" and that the environmental impact assessment was done according to Chinese law.

Sunday‘s closing ceremony will feature the traditional handover ceremony to the next host, with the eight-minute section directed by Zhang Yimou, who was also in charge of both ceremonies at Beijing 2008.

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