ROWAN CALLICK |
The Winter Olympic Games will be held from February 4-20 in a ‘green, safe and simple’ way, and for that reason will prove ‘splendid and successful’.
Don’t take it from me. Take it from someone who knows: Xi Jinping, the paramount leader of the People’s Republic of China, handily announced this during a recent visit to workers at the main Games sites in Beijing.
He has not travelled out of China for two years, and when he does leave the Communist Party HQ of Zhongnanhai in central Beijing these days, it is increasingly to conduct such ‘on-the-spot-guidance’ tours, of the sort pioneered by the Kim dynasty in neighbouring North Korea, China’s only formal ally.
These Games are being held in a very different setting from the 2008 Beijing Summer Games, for whose organisation Xi, as vice president, had a special responsibility.