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China to bid for 2022 Winter Games

BEIJING (Reuters) - Beijing and China's northern city of Zhangjiakou will jointly bid for the 2022 Winter Olympics, state media said on Tuesday citing the local Olympic Committee.

Zhangjiakou, in Hebei province about 200 kilometers northwest of Beijing, has been proposed for snow sports while the capital would host ice events, the official Xinhua news agency said.

Construction on a railway linking the two cities will begin late this year, it added.

Kazakhstan's Almaty has already announced official candidacies while Munich faces a referendum on Sunday which will decide if it will officially bid for the 2022 Games. Bids are also expected from Poland, Ukraine, Spain and Norway.

China hosted the widely acclaimed 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing despite concerns about human rights abuses and forced evictions ahead of the Games.

The 2008 Games marked the first time China had won an Olympic bid after losing out to Sydney for the 2000 Summer Games.

(Reporting by Michael Martina; editing by Amlan Chakraborty)

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