Beijing Olympics and Trade Treaties
The Beijing 2022 Olympics symbolized the development of winter sports in China and economic relations with the world. President Xi Jinping welcomed 32 foreign dignitaries including heads of state, prime ministers, royalty and heads of international bodies.
This is the first time there has been such a high number of foreign leaders during a Winter Olympics, despite missing the highest ranks of G-7 countries.
This underscores China's attractiveness in political and economic relations to many regions. There were 18 bilateral meetings with international leaders from Southeast Asia, Central Asia, the Middle East, Eastern Europe, and Latin America.
China and Ecuador agreed to begin negotiations on a free trade agreement to promote partnership and trade between the two countries.
Argentina has joined the Chinese government's infrastructure project, signing a memorandum of understanding on the Belt and Road Initiative, with specific agreements on cooperation in agriculture. In early 2022, Syria and Nicaragua also joined the New Silk Road project, bringing the number of countries and regions to 148 members.
Pakistani Prime Minister Khan confirmed the second phase of construction of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor while Putin and Xi reached a 30-year agreement for gas supplies through a new pipeline that will run through the Russian Far East.
Leaders of several Central Asian countries, including Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, and Tajikistan, also agreed to strengthen cooperation in the oil and natural gas sector.
The president of Singapore, the speaker of the South Korean parliament and the royals of Thailand and Cambodia present in Beijing represent four of the fifteen signatory countries of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, the largest free trade agreement in force since January 2022.
From Europe, Prince Albert of Monaco was present, who received Xi's 2019 visit to the principality, where Huawei has deployed the first 5G network in the region. The Grand Duke of Luxembourg promoted new green and high-tech projects, and Polish President Andrzej Duda confirmed interest in more agricultural exchanges.
Finally, Serbian President Vucic promoted an increase in economic relations between Beijing and Belgrade through a free trade agreement to be signed by 2022.