united states – Bizchina Update http://bizchina-update.com/ Sun, 27 Mar 2022 00:43:50 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://bizchina-update.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/icon-120x120.jpg united states – Bizchina Update http://bizchina-update.com/ 32 32 Meet the new cast members https://bizchina-update.com/meet-the-new-cast-members/ Fri, 11 Mar 2022 07:10:16 +0000 https://bizchina-update.com/meet-the-new-cast-members/ The popular TLC docu-reality series, 90 Day Fiance, is back with six new couples and one returning couple. It’s time to meet the cast of Season 9 (via EO). Kobe and Emily, ’90 Day Fiancé’ Season 9 | CCM Kobe and Emily Emily, 29, met Kobe, 34, when she decided to teach English in Xi’an, […]]]>

The popular TLC docu-reality series, 90 Day Fiance, is back with six new couples and one returning couple. It’s time to meet the cast of Season 9 (via EO).

Kobe and Emily, ’90 Day Fiancé’ Season 9 | CCM

Kobe and Emily

Emily, 29, met Kobe, 34, when she decided to teach English in Xi’an, China. Emily and Kobe met one night at the club. Their whirlwind romance went from a one-night stand to an engagement. Shortly after, Emily discovers that she is pregnant.

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Whoopi Goldberg in staggering claim about countries ‘doing business’ with Russia | Television & Radio | Showbiz and television https://bizchina-update.com/whoopi-goldberg-in-staggering-claim-about-countries-doing-business-with-russia-television-radio-showbiz-and-television/ Thu, 03 Mar 2022 09:24:00 +0000 https://bizchina-update.com/whoopi-goldberg-in-staggering-claim-about-countries-doing-business-with-russia-television-radio-showbiz-and-television/ The actress and the rest of The View panel discussed US President Joe Biden’s first State of the Union address to Congress on Wednesday’s episode of the ABC show. As they discussed the president’s comments on the ongoing Ukraine crisis, Whoopi made a sensational claim about Mexico “doing business” with Russia. Speaking about Biden’s speech, […]]]>

The actress and the rest of The View panel discussed US President Joe Biden’s first State of the Union address to Congress on Wednesday’s episode of the ABC show. As they discussed the president’s comments on the ongoing Ukraine crisis, Whoopi made a sensational claim about Mexico “doing business” with Russia.

Speaking about Biden’s speech, panelist Michele Tafoya said, “I loved the Ukraine stuff, but what I was hoping for was to hear a bit more about China.

“We all seem to be so scared of China and yet they don’t plan any sanctions against Russia, they still do business with Russia.”

Whoopi chimed in to make a stunning claim, saying, “Neither does Mexico.”

Michele added, “Well, I don’t know how much business there is between Mexico and Russia, really not.”

READ MORE: Rookie faces backlash as viewers complain about series change

He said: “From President Zelenskyy to every Ukrainian, their fearlessness, their courage, their determination literally inspires the world.

He also announced that the United States would bar Russian airlines from American airspace after Canada and Europe took similar action.

“Putin’s latest attack on Ukraine was premeditated and totally unprovoked,” he added.

“He rejected repeated efforts at diplomacy. He thought the West and NATO would not respond.

“He thought he could divide us at home, in this room, in this nation. He thought he could also divide us in Europe. But Putin was wrong. We are ready.”

A second round of talks is expected to take place later today after a Russian negotiator said a ceasefire was on the agenda.

However, Ukraine said Russia’s demands were “unacceptable” and the country needed to stop bombing Ukrainian cities before it could hope for progress.

The View airs weekdays at 11 a.m. ETS on ABC.

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John Wayne was ‘hated’ and ‘feared’ by Joseph Stalin, who wanted him assassinated https://bizchina-update.com/john-wayne-was-hated-and-feared-by-joseph-stalin-who-wanted-him-assassinated/ Tue, 01 Mar 2022 23:10:27 +0000 https://bizchina-update.com/john-wayne-was-hated-and-feared-by-joseph-stalin-who-wanted-him-assassinated/ John Wayne put his patriotic identity above all else. He chose many of his film projects based on a specific image that the whole family could enjoy. However, Wayne’s anti-Communist message became a major problem for former Soviet Union Premier Joseph Stalin. The political leader was so afraid of the actor’s power to influence public […]]]>

John Wayne put his patriotic identity above all else. He chose many of his film projects based on a specific image that the whole family could enjoy. However, Wayne’s anti-Communist message became a major problem for former Soviet Union Premier Joseph Stalin. The political leader was so afraid of the actor’s power to influence public opinion that he ordered his assassination.

John Wayne was a patriot who felt guilty for not serving in the military

John Wayne | General Disney entertainment content via Getty Images

At Pilar Wayne’s John Wayne: My Life with the Duke explores one of the most popular faces to ever exist in Hollywood. Pilar is Wayne’s third wife, which details her life behind the scenes and in her personal life. He always had a deep respect for the US military, but he never served. As a result, Pilar explained that not serving in the military had become “the most painful part of her life”.

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Where is the island of Miquelon located? BBC filming location for the tense reunion in Peaky Blinders episode 1 https://bizchina-update.com/where-is-the-island-of-miquelon-located-bbc-filming-location-for-the-tense-reunion-in-peaky-blinders-episode-1/ Sun, 27 Feb 2022 20:40:00 +0000 https://bizchina-update.com/where-is-the-island-of-miquelon-located-bbc-filming-location-for-the-tense-reunion-in-peaky-blinders-episode-1/ The long-awaited final season of Peaky Blinders begins tonight (February 27) on BBC One. Fans of the series will remember that the show ended with Tommy Shelby holding a gun to his head after his attempts to assassinate Oswald Mosley backfired. Picking up four years later, season six catches up with a rather different version […]]]>

The long-awaited final season of Peaky Blinders begins tonight (February 27) on BBC One. Fans of the series will remember that the show ended with Tommy Shelby holding a gun to his head after his attempts to assassinate Oswald Mosley backfired.

Picking up four years later, season six catches up with a rather different version of Tommy (played by Cillian Murphy) on the French island of Miquelon. Not only is he away from home and speaks French, but he is also sober.

The first episode also catches up with the rest of the cast, including siblings Shelby Arthur (Paul Anderson) and Ada (Sophie Rundle) as well as Tommy’s wife Lizzie (Natasha O’Keefe). It also deals with the death of actor Helen McCrory, who played Aunt Polly for the first five series.

READ MORE: BBC Peaky Blinders’ Cillian Murphy spent time in Birmingham pubs to ‘hone’ Brummie’s accent

But where is the island of Miquelon and what is Tommy Shelby doing there? Here’s everything you need to know.

Where is the island of Miquelon located?

Miquelon, also known as Grande Miquelon, is one of the last French territories in North America. It is located just off Newfoundland, next to the island of Saint-Pierre.

Originally a French colony, Saint-Pierre and Miquelon moved back and forth between Britain and France for over 100 years beginning in 1713. Finally, in 1816, France regained control of the islands and they have remained French territory ever since.

Why is Tommy Shelby on the island of Miquelon?

The new Peaky Blinders series begins in 1933, just as Prohibition ends. Tommy, who has started importing opium from China, is on the island of Miquelon to settle some business.

Throughout the 1920s and American Prohibition, Miquelon and Saint-Pierre played key roles in liquor smuggling efforts in the United States. Infamous mobsters conducted their operations from the island, including Al Capone and Bill McCoy.

Considering Tommy’s opium hauling business in the new Peaky Blinders series, Miquelon would have been an ideal base. However, nowadays Miquelon and Saint-Pierre are known to be popular tourist destinations, with several restaurants and historical and cultural attractions.

Peaky Blinders returns to BBC One and iPlayer for series six on February 27 at 9 p.m. Don’t miss a ride from Peaky Blinders by signing up to our Shelby Times newsletter – bringing you the latest news on the show.

READ MORE: BBC Peaky Blinders star Cillian Murphy tells how he gets into the character of Tommy Shelby

LOOK: BBC Peaky Blinders’ Steven Knight shares the reason Cillian Murphy skipped the premiere

Click here for the latest TV, celebrity and showbiz headlines

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Before fans of 90 Days star Ella Angers with selfish behavior https://bizchina-update.com/before-fans-of-90-days-star-ella-angers-with-selfish-behavior/ Mon, 21 Feb 2022 00:39:44 +0000 https://bizchina-update.com/before-fans-of-90-days-star-ella-angers-with-selfish-behavior/ 90 Day Fiance: Before 90 Days took a week off due to the Super Bowl. The show returned on February 20 with a dramatic episode. All the couples have had a hard time this week, but Before 90 days The Ella star irritated several fans with the way she treated Johnny. Here’s how it all […]]]>

90 Day Fiance: Before 90 Days took a week off due to the Super Bowl. The show returned on February 20 with a dramatic episode. All the couples have had a hard time this week, but Before 90 days The Ella star irritated several fans with the way she treated Johnny. Here’s how it all happened.

Ella and Johnny | CCM

’90 Day Fiancé: Before the 90 Days’ stars Ella and Johnny have yet to meet this season

Of the seven new couples fans have met this season, only one couple has yet to meet in person. Earlier this season, fans began to suspect that Ella and Johnny weren’t dating, and as we get closer to the end, it looks like they might be right.

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Are Ella and Johnny still together in 2022? https://bizchina-update.com/are-ella-and-johnny-still-together-in-2022/ Fri, 18 Feb 2022 12:11:15 +0000 https://bizchina-update.com/are-ella-and-johnny-still-together-in-2022/ 90 Day Fiance: Before 90 Days couple, Ella Johnson and Johnny Chao, are currently in Season 5. While it’s unclear where their relationship stands on the show, are Ella and Johnny together in 2022? Here’s what we know about this international couple. Ella and Johnny | CCM Ella and Johnny’s journey in ’90 Day Fiancé’ […]]]>

90 Day Fiance: Before 90 Days couple, Ella Johnson and Johnny Chao, are currently in Season 5. While it’s unclear where their relationship stands on the show, are Ella and Johnny together in 2022? Here’s what we know about this international couple.

Ella and Johnny | CCM

Ella and Johnny’s journey in ’90 Day Fiancé’

Ella, 29, from Idaho Falls, Idaho, has always been drawn to Asian men and their cultures. She met Johnny, 34, from Jinan, China, on a dating site exclusively for white women looking to meet Asian men. She thinks she has finally found her “Asian prince” and hopes to take the next step in their relationship.

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Olympic snowboarding king Su Yiming showcases more confident China – Sports https://bizchina-update.com/olympic-snowboarding-king-su-yiming-showcases-more-confident-china-sports/ Wed, 16 Feb 2022 10:20:00 +0000 https://bizchina-update.com/olympic-snowboarding-king-su-yiming-showcases-more-confident-china-sports/ Published on February 16, 2022 3:50 p.m. Shoulder-length hair, rings and baggy pants, teenage snowboarding sensation Su Yiming BEIJING (AFP) – Shoulder-length hair, rings and baggy pants, teenage snowboarding sensation Su Yiming appeared to be the cool and confident ambassador for China’s new youth as he won Olympic gold on home soil. The former child […]]]>

Published on February 16, 2022 3:50 p.m.

Shoulder-length hair, rings and baggy pants, teenage snowboarding sensation Su Yiming

BEIJING (AFP) – Shoulder-length hair, rings and baggy pants, teenage snowboarding sensation Su Yiming appeared to be the cool and confident ambassador for China’s new youth as he won Olympic gold on home soil.

The former child actor is one of the stars of the Beijing Olympics after winning silver and then gold on Tuesday, catapulting the 17-year-old to stardom and amassing an avid social media fanbase for him at the House.

Su heralds the rise of a new generation of patriotic young Chinese athletes with the kind of cool aura that eluded young Olympians who, unlike Su, are products of China’s grueling Soviet-style sports academies.

China’s first men’s Olympic snowboarding medalist has won a legion of Chinese fans with his down-to-earth attitude, natural style and love of music, while becoming the new face of a sport that promotes individualism and daredevil courage.

“Snowboarders have a particular style that fits Su perfectly. It’s something that would certainly resonate with younger generations in China and elsewhere,” said China-based sports analyst Mark Dreyer, author of “Sporting Superpower: An Insider’s View on China’s Quest to Be the Best”.

After a scintillating run in the slopestyle last week, where he won silver, Su put his hands over his mouth and repeatedly shouted a profanity in live English.

“My worry is that at some point they’re going to ask him to conform and basically be a snowboarder without (personality),” Dreyer added.

“He could legitimately become a great soft power ambassador for China – but not necessarily the soft power ambassador that China wants.”


A billion views


Hailing from the freezing northeast of China, Su first hit the slopes as a toddler. He joined the Chinese national team at the age of 14 after years of balancing his passion with a budding acting career.

He landed his first marquee deal with snowboard maker Burton aged seven, though his commercial endorsements are only a fraction of fellow teenage star Eileen Gu, the California-born Chinese freestyle skier who also won silver and gold.

“He’s really just come into the upper echelon of runners over the last four to six months,” Dreyer said.

Described by his trainer as mature beyond his years, the snowboarder has said in interviews that he trains “320 days a year”, sometimes six hours a day when trying to master a tricky new move.

His father says he has an “innate passion for snowboarding”.

When not training overseas, Su surfs on the island of Hainan in southern China during the off-season summer.

“In order for him to compete and stay at the top level, he has to be in Europe and the United States. He’s getting all those influences and becoming more and more of an international person,” Dreyer said.

Hours after winning Big Air gold on Tuesday, the hashtag “Su Yiming’s Gold Medal” racked up more than a billion views on China’s Weibo Twitter.

“If you have a goal, have the courage to try it and give it your all,” Su told state broadcaster CCTV.


Privilege debate


These culturally confident young stars – including 18-year-old Chinese-American Gu – are a valuable addition to China’s soft power arsenal at a time when Beijing is keen to project cultural influence abroad and show confidence interior.

Su and Gu’s cosmopolitan lifestyles have sparked reflection on social media about their relative privilege compared to figures such as 14-year-old Olympic diver Quan Hongchan, who has spoken of earning competitive money to support his farming parents.

While Beijing has firmly maintained its rigid system of state academies for athletes – prioritizing sports with greater medal chances – experts said it has relinquished control slightly in some disciplines, particularly when it comes to winter sports.

Zheng Jinming, professor of sports management at the National Institute of Education in Singapore, said this has allowed market forces to create a more organic interest in “cool” sports among younger generations of Chinese who have grew up in better economic conditions.

“But can those interested in these cool sports successfully access resources that can get them started, get quality training, and progress in these sports?” Zheng asked.

Analysts have also wondered if these new sports celebrities will be able to maintain their authenticity as their popularity in China snowballs.

The more China wants Su to conform to their idea of ​​a healthy model, “the more it takes away from its appeal in the first place,” Dreyer said.

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Freestyle skiing: Awesome Xu wins aerials gold for China – Sports https://bizchina-update.com/freestyle-skiing-awesome-xu-wins-aerials-gold-for-china-sports/ Mon, 14 Feb 2022 14:08:07 +0000 https://bizchina-update.com/freestyle-skiing-awesome-xu-wins-aerials-gold-for-china-sports/ China’s Xu Mengtao finally won Olympic gold when she triumphed in a spectacular women’s freestyle ski jumps final on snow on home soil Monday, producing a spectacular leap as most of her main rivals faltered. Xu, a Sochi silver medalist and current World Cup leader, clocked a 108.61 effort to edge defending champion Hanna Huskova […]]]>

China’s Xu Mengtao finally won Olympic gold when she triumphed in a spectacular women’s freestyle ski jumps final on snow on home soil Monday, producing a spectacular leap as most of her main rivals faltered.

Xu, a Sochi silver medalist and current World Cup leader, clocked a 108.61 effort to edge defending champion Hanna Huskova of Belarus, with Megan Nick earning a surprise bronze medal for the United States.

Xu had to wait for American Ashley Caldwell, the most impressive performer in qualifying, to try to beat her score, only to crash-land and spark wild celebrations among Chinese fans.

It was China’s first victory in the event after five silver medals since its addition to the Games program in 1994.

Caldwell finished fourth, one place ahead of world champion and Australian favorite Laura Peel, who had a final to forget.

On a freezing night, a wind blowing from the north brought the temperature down to -23 degrees Celsius and made jumps difficult.

Peel had scored in the qualifying competition earlier in the day – postponed from Sunday due to bad weather – with a monstrous score of 104.54. But she was scared in the final as she disappeared in a cloud of fresh snow in a mess of landing to sit ninth of the 12 finalists after the first lap.

She again flirted with disaster with her second vault, both hands touching after her triple, but the difficulty level earned her 100.02 and a place in the final.

Caldwell didn’t need to make her second effort but, full of confidence after her mixed team gold medal on Thursday, did – and improved her score to 105.60.

The format meant the top six advanced to the final with all previous scores wiped out – with just one more jump each to decide medals.

Huskova was the worst of the six, but she came out of the blocks with 107.95 points – then sat to watch and wait.

Peel went all out for a triple but had another terrible landing and China’s Kong Fanyu attempted the same jump, with an even more spectacular head-first obliteration.

Xu, however, bucked the trend and made no mistakes, scoring 108.61, and Caldwell couldn’t respond – reversing the pair’s fortunes since the team event when the United States beat China for gold.

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China’s economy is increasingly isolated from the West https://bizchina-update.com/chinas-economy-is-increasingly-isolated-from-the-west/ Sat, 12 Feb 2022 08:00:00 +0000 https://bizchina-update.com/chinas-economy-is-increasingly-isolated-from-the-west/ As the Beijing Winter Olympics begin, all eyes are on China. There have been a lot of reports about China’s cold relations with the West and its persecution of Uyghurs and other minorities, but there is also a lot to be said about China’s economy. China’s great rise in recent decades has been the great […]]]>

As the Beijing Winter Olympics begin, all eyes are on China. There have been a lot of reports about China’s cold relations with the West and its persecution of Uyghurs and other minorities, but there is also a lot to be said about China’s economy.

China’s great rise in recent decades has been the great economic success of our time, lifting hundreds of millions of people out of poverty and giving wheels to the global economy in the years following the financial crisis of 2007-09.

Over the past decade, however, the miracle has become a little more ordinary as growth has gradually slowed. China has struggled to continue growing its exports at the same pace year after year, especially in the face of weaker international demand for its products, including due to the trade war with the United States. Other problems included an aging population and the fact that growth had become increasingly dependent on debt, which was unsustainable.

China’s economic growth 1997-2021

Trade Economics/National Bureau of Statistics of China, CC BY

China appears to have weathered the pandemic better than many major economies, having contained the virus so aggressively. Yet the situation has since deteriorated as new national outbreaks of Covid, including the new omicron variant, have caused further economic disruption.

The effect of Omicron on other major economies is also not good news for Chinese exports. Nor has the resurgence of inflation in many countries prompted the US Federal Reserve and other central banks to threaten to raise interest rates and end money creation via quantitative easing. This should further dampen demand for Chinese products.

China’s debt has also become an even bigger problem. Leading property developer Evergrande’s financial struggles in 2021 grabbed headlines, but excessive debt is rampant throughout the real estate industry and beyond. If the bubble bursts, it could lead to a prolonged downturn that would significantly damage the wider economy.

The government has pressured big business to reduce debt, while limiting borrowing in the property sector and cracking down on informal lending across the country. He also sent a warning to excess borrowers by his willingness to let Evergrande default.

Falling exports and debt reduction mean China is heading for a slowdown: the World Bank projects its economic growth to be just over 5% in 2022, down from 8% in 2021.

China’s challenges

More broadly, China’s traditional growth model based on exports, infrastructure and real estate investment seems to have run its course. The nation faces a difficult rebalancing act as it aims to shift to a much greater reliance on Chinese households consuming goods and services, while having to transition to a much less carbon-intensive economy.

Unfortunately for the ruling Communist Party, the best way to achieve this rebalancing is arguably to implement reforms that would limit government influence in Chinese life. For example, the World Bank believes China must make it easier for businesses to fail and allow greater private competition in sectors like education and health to increase productivity. It also recommends allowing workers to move around the country by removing the hukou registration system in cities, since this system stipulates where someone permanently resides.

Some World Bank recommendations involve greater government intervention, such as making the tax system more progressive to encourage consumers to spend more, and increasing public spending on health and education so people don’t have to. need to save so much. Generally speaking, however, further liberalization is on the agenda – and seems to be the right way forward in my view.

Yet China has become more interventionist in the Xi era, cracking down on everything from tech billionaires to the number of hours children can play video games each day. Meanwhile, China’s zero Covid strategy has involved tightly sealed borders, rapid citywide lockdowns and mass testing.

China adopted this strategy partly out of fear that its poor healthcare system would be completely overwhelmed by Covid, and more recently as a means of ensuring the smooth running of the Winter Olympics. However, the climate in China is such that some commentators fear that it will reopen, that the health crisis will turn into a political crisis of more committed isolation.

China is therefore at a crossroads. On the one hand, it wants to play a bigger role in the global economy, as evidenced by its Belt and Road Initiative to boost infrastructure development around the world in exchange for closer ties with Beijing.

But there is a contradiction between continuing to engage in global trade and the Chinese government’s instinct for technological self-sufficiency and local innovation. Trade liberalization also involves, for example, opening up the banking sector to foreign lenders to make it more efficient. However, we are far from Beijing’s interventionist approach. Indeed, the fact that banks, which are partly state-owned, were mandated to lend to state-owned enterprises in poor financial condition was the cause of many debt problems in the first place.

Unfortunately, the indications are that China is more likely to move towards greater western isolationism. This could mean restricting visits to the country and focusing more on domestic consumption than global trade. We could see him moving further away from globalization via trade wars, as well as imposing more capital controls to make it harder for money to move in and out of the country. Clearly, China is acting partly out of provocation from the West, but its overall policy shift is to a large extent home-grown.

As with the Winter Olympics, where China tries to separate the athletes from its people, the nation also behaves similarly towards the rest of the world. What should be a celebration of international cooperation is happening at a time when the exact opposite is happening.The conversation

Kate Phylaktis, Professor of International Finance and Director, Emerging Markets Group, City, University of London

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

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Talking about the Olympics and winter sports with China Sports Insider founder Mark Dreyer https://bizchina-update.com/talking-about-the-olympics-and-winter-sports-with-china-sports-insider-founder-mark-dreyer/ Thu, 10 Feb 2022 07:07:52 +0000 https://bizchina-update.com/talking-about-the-olympics-and-winter-sports-with-china-sports-insider-founder-mark-dreyer/ As the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics continue, we decided to get some inside information from one of our favorite sports analysts, Mark Dreyer, founder of China Sports Insider. Mark is originally from the UK, but has been in Beijing since 2007. Mark’s sports knowledge is sought after by different media around the world, being often […]]]>

As the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics continue, we decided to get some inside information from one of our favorite sports analysts, Mark Dreyer, founder of China Sports Insider. Mark is originally from the UK, but has been in Beijing since 2007.

Mark’s sports knowledge is sought after by different media around the world, being often called upon to comment on sports in China by Bloomberg, CCTV, Financial Times, CNBC and the BBC. His repertoire of sports reporting is elite to say the least and he has interviewed some of the world’s best, including Beckham, Pelé and many more.

As well as having recently written a book about China’s quest for sporting supremacy, Mark witnessed the first Olympics in Beijing in 2008, and we are delighted to share some of his knowledge, predictions and thoughts on the Olympics. of this year and the general development of sports in Beijing and all over China.

What first brought you to China?
I first came to China at the very end of 2007. I was living in New York at the time, working for Fox Sports, and my wife was starting a company that was partly based in the United States and partly in China. The Olympics were approaching on my horizon, so we were like, “Hey, let’s go for a year. What’s the worst that can happen?” 15 years later, we are still here.

Tell us what you think of the evolution of the sport since your arrival in China.
There have been three major waves of growth. After the 2008 Olympics, there was a bit of a slowdown. But in 2014 the government released a policy document detailing plans for the development of the world’s biggest sports industry and it really changed things.

The first wave was soccer 2015; we had a big 50-point plan that they struggled to implement, but they tried and we’ve seen some kind of rise – and now collapse – in some areas.

The second wave was in winter sports, because Beijing won the 2022 Olympic bid in the summer of 2015, which turbocharged the winter sports growth engine.

The third wave is what we call mass participation, which was a more organic wave of people getting into sports like running, swimming, fitness, gyms, yoga and all that kind of stuff.

What are some of the differences you see between the 2008 Olympics and this year’s 2022 Games?
There is a big difference in scale between the Summer and Winter Olympics, and of course 2008 was much more festive because it was outdoors. It’s a cliché to say, but 2008 was truly China’s coming out party on the world stage and I think it went fantastically. From the opening ceremony to all the events, everyone was impressed and China was certainly very happy.

This year, the geopolitical temperature is very, very different in China. Covid has of course been a huge challenge for everyone, so mostly people are just trying to get through this one without too many setbacks. As a sports fan, especially the Olympics, this pains me.

Covid has changed many factors for this year’s Olympics in Beijing. Despite this, what are the positive aspects for the city and for China?
What is really interesting is that people have really embraced the development of the winter sports industry. China has never had problems building infrastructure – ski resorts, ice rinks, etc. – but people have to use them, and they have succeeded. It’s encouraging to see. It’s one thing to have a goal, but it’s another to put it into action.

As a Chinese sports insider, can you give us some of your predictions on the top medal contenders or athletes to watch at this Olympics?

Eileen Gu is kind of a no-brainer, and in addition to her recent gold medal in Freestyle Big Air, she has two more chances in halfpipe and slopestyle.

As well, Sun Jiaxu for men’s jumps. China has a bunch of suitors, they had I think four people who could all have a chance, but this guy has had a good last few weeks. Anyway, I think China has a very good chance of winning a medal – maybe gold – in this event.

Nine months ago we were watching an absolute horror show for the China men’s ice hockey team, because it looked like it would be a group of young Chinese against the NHL All Stars. But what happened was that China got permission to sign ‘historical players’ (some North American players of Chinese descent).

Meanwhile, the NHL players have retired, so I think China’s games against the United States and Canada will be much more competitive. It’s going to be a very interesting game, especially because China have played together all season as a team, and the North Americans are basically meeting for the first time, so they’re going to have to adapt very quickly. Nobody even gave China a chance to score a goal, but I think they will score goals, that’s my prediction!

Are there any other interesting changes in the dynamics of the Chinese Olympic team?
Historically, for winter sports, it has been mainly people from the northeast of the country, people who grew up in the cold regions where skiing and skating came naturally to them. China has set up an interdisciplinary recruitment program specifically for these Games. Thus, track and field athletes, long jumpers, distance runners, rowers, gymnasts, etc. were reassigned to new sports and learned new disciplines. So that means you have athletes from Yunnan Province and even remote autonomous regions. In the past, it was something crazy like around 50% came from Harbin city, but that is changing.

Can you tell us a bit about your new book?
The book is called Sports superpower: An insider’s view on China’s quest to be the best. It’s about the progress China has made since 2008 in its quest to build the world’s greatest sports industry – ups and downs – and the title pretty much sums it all up. There are plenty of personal and insider stories, interviews and analysis too. I’m biased, of course, but I think it’s entertaining reading – perfect reading as the Olympics go on or even after they’re over!

What are your predictions for the future of sport in Beijing and China?
I still think the main drivers are, first, the initial push of this government policy, and second, the more organic push of the Chinese people who see more value in sports and are themselves more active. Today people want to involve their kids more in sport and I think that’s what makes me really optimistic about the future of sport here.

Sport is now seen as a legitimate part of the economy. It’s not the biggest thing on China’s radar, but sport is now part of the economy, and it makes people happier and healthier, so I think in many areas we we are always going in the right direction.

What do you think are the three most significant sporting moments in Beijing/China?
Ok, the top three, I’m going to limit it to my time in China again, so from 2008 until now, in my opinion, the number one must be Li Na who won the French Open 2011. I think it was really important and it really put China on the world tennis map.

Secondly, I’ve done a lot of motor racing commentary since my time here, since 2013 I’ve been on several racing series that aired on Fox Sports Asia, in terms of reporting, presentations and commentary; so I got to know a lot of pilots. Zhou Guanyu is now in Formula 1 for the first time this year, which is an extremely important moment for China and for motorsport in China. He’s a good guy, he’s very polite, he speaks very good English and he’s very presentable. I think fans around the world will really like it, and it could revolutionize motorsport in China.

The third comes from 2017 and it’s an episode that I examine closely in the book. The Chinese president was visiting the Olympic venues in Zhangjiakou and was wearing an ANTA-branded jacket. It’s not often that the leaders of any country wear designer clothes, and it’s certainly not common in China either, but it was extremely important, because it meant that China was not embracing not only global sports, but also developing its own sports industry, so the support of a local brand like ANTA was significant. It wouldn’t surprise me if we see the president wearing ANTA clothes in the next few days, with Team China. It would be a very proud and patriotic moment for many in the country.

READ: And the big star of Beijing 2022 is…Bing Dwen Dwen?

Images courtesy of Mark Dreyer

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