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Beijing, Zhangjiakou bid for 2022 Winter Olympics

BEIJING (AP) — Beijing and the northern Chinese city of Zhangjiakou are bidding for the 2022 Winter Olympics.

The Chinese Olympic Committee sent a formal nomination letter to the International Olympic Committee on Sunday and the bid is supported by the Chinese government, China's official news agency Xinhua reported Tuesday.

"The China Olympic Committee believes that Beijing and Zhangjiakou have the natural conditions and infrastructure to successfully host the Winter Olympics," the committee said in a statement. "The bid to host the 2022 Winter Olympics will further improve the development of the Chinese Olympic cause, display the comprehensive power of China and push forward the coordinated development of the economies of the two cities," it said.

Beijing hosted the 2008 Summer Olympics. Under the 2022 bid plans, Beijing would hold the ice events. Zhangjiakou, a city surrounded by mountains with ski resorts 100 miles northwest of Beijing in the neighboring province of Hebei, would host the snow events. There are many hotels being built in the valley towns serving the ski resorts.

A high speed train line linking the two cities is scheduled to open next year, with a journey time between the two of 40 minutes. Nov. 14 is the deadline for submission of bids to the IOC. China has bid previously for the Winter Olympics. The northeast city of Harbin failed to make the short list of finalists in the race for the 2010 Winter Games, which went to Vancouver.

Almaty, Kazakhstan, has already officially lodged a 2022 bid. Other potential contenders include Oslo, Norway; Munich; Lviv, Ukraine; and a joint bid from Poland and Slovakia. Barcelona has decided not to bid.

The IOC will select the 2022 host city in 2015. The chances of Asia getting the games in 2022 would seem remote, as Pyeongchang, South Korea, will host the 2018 Winter Games and Tokyo will stage the 2020 Summer Olympics.

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