BEIJING — An International Olympic Committee delegation on Tuesday completed a four-day inspection to assess a bid by Beijing to host the Olympic Games in the year 2000.
Chinese leaders hope that winning the Olympics would help restore the Communist government's international prestige. An all-out effort was made to impress the delegation, including festooning the city with banners.
"We consider the International Olympic Committee to be 'God.' We treat its suggestions as orders," Beijing City Communist Party Secretary Chen Xitong declared in an interview published on the front page of the official People's Daily on the morning the delegation arrived.
In a bid to cut down air pollution caused by coal burning in Beijing, some apartment complexes were without heat during the delegation's visit. The Beijing Evening News, in a Page 1 article Friday, told its readers that if they saw the delegation, they should "wave and clap their hands to express their welcome."
Beijing is considered one of the top contenders to host the Games. But London bookies reportedly are betting on Sydney, Australia, as the likely winner, with Beijing No. 2 among seven candidates.
The victor will be chosen at a Sept. 23 meeting in Monaco, based partly on a report from the multinational inspection team.
The other cities that have applied are: Berlin, Manchester, Brasilia, Istanbul and Milan.