Beijing's bid for the Winter Olympics is a springboard for hundreds of millions of Chinese to join in sports on ice and snow, Chinese vice premier Liu Yandong said on Sunday.
During her visit to the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games Bid Committee, Liu said the bid will not only spread the Olympic spirit but also popularize winter sports in the country which is striving to be a bona fide world sports power.
The vice premier noted the bid will help promote service sectors such as fitness, leisure, culture and tourism and improve environment in north China.
Beijing submitted its official bid to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in January and an IOC evaluation delegation is set to arrive in Beijing next month. The only other competing city - Almaty in Kazakhstan - is being evaluated.
The Chinese capital will co-host the Games with Zhangjiakou, a Hebei province city some 200 kilometers northwest of Beijing.
The standing committee of the People's Congress in both cities have voted unanimously to support the Olympic bid.