Cooperative agreement between PyeongChang and Beijing on successful Winter Olympics

The South Korean and the Chinese host cities of the next two Winter Olympics reached a cooperative agreement Thursday to ensure the success of their events.

Lee Hee-beom, the top organizer for PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics, and Cai Qi, his counterpart for Beijing 2022, signed their memorandum of understanding (MOU) on mutual exchange and cooperation in a ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in the Chinese capital.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in, on his first state visit to China, and Chinese President Xi Jinping also attended the ceremony.

Following PyeongChang 2018, the games in Beijing in 2022 will mark the first time that Asia will have hosted consecutive Winter Olympics. These two cities, plus Tokyo, the host of the 2020 Summer Olympics, have already held talks on cooperating with one another to make all three events successful.

The organizing committee for PyeongChang 2018 said Thursday’s agreement represents the first official step toward bilateral cooperation between the two organizing committees.

“We expect this MOU to accelerate the improvement of bilateral relations between South Korea and China,” Lee said in a statement released by his organizing committee. “We also believe the agreement will have some positive impact on generating interest for the PyeongChang Olympics, attracting Chinese tourists and boosting ticket sales.”

Under their agreement, PyeongChang and Beijing are to actively engage in human resources exchange and knowledge transfer, and to strengthen cooperation in sustainability and cultural exchange.

During the PyeongChang Olympics, for instance, Beijing’s organizing committee will send its officials to South Korea as observers, and PyeongChang will transfer its knowledge of hosting the Winter Games during the debriefing session in Beijing in June 2018.

Prior to the signing ceremony, Lee and Cai held a meeting during which they exchanged views on the need for active mutual cooperation and agreed to support each other for the successful hosting of the competitions.

Separately, PyeongChang also has an agreement with the popular Chinese social media site Weibo to help promote its Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games across China.

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