themed event tackles issues in hosting 2022 Games

Gilbert Van Kerckhove speaks at's first speaking and networking event at Haollee Café in Beijing's Sanlitun SOHO on August 27. Photo: Ding Yi has dabbled in organizing unique offline networking parties for foreigners and locals in Beijing to help them develop connections for business and social purposes, since entering China in 2012.

On August 27, the Beijing-based English language news and information portal successfully held its first speaking and networking event at Haollee Café in Beijing's Sanlitun SOHO, attended by expats doing business and studying in Beijing, Beijing-based journalists, English lovers and partygoers.

As a pioneering news and insights provider which has succeeded in covering the American presidential election in 2012, the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China in 2012, US First Lady Michelle Obama's visit to China in 2014 and the recent warehouse explosions in Tianjin, is committed to organizing get-togethers to discuss hot international issues and problems in Chinese society as well as the latest fashion.

The topic for the August 27 event was related to the 2022 Winter Olympic Games, as Beijing together with Zhangjiakou has just won the bid to host the much-anticipated winter sports gala in 2022.

Professor Gilbert Van Kerckhove, the speaker of the networking event, shared rich insights developed over his years of experience in the field, including working as a government advisor during Beijing's preparations for the Summer Olympic Games in 2008.

In his presentation, the president of a Beijing-based management consulting company who has spent more than 30 years mostly in Beijing elaborated on the heavy-handed measures adopted by the government during August 2008, which led to dramatic fall in the number of inbound tourists and shrinking air traffic volume. He also talked about the lessons Beijing and Zhangjiakou could learn from the 2008 sports event, warning that air pollution and water shortage would be major challenges for the 2022 Games.

"I am rather confident that Beijing will improve the air quality to acceptable levels (in 2022)," said Kerckhove, who is also the author of Toxic Capitalism, a book published in 2012, which deals with overconsumption and environmental degradation in the world.

British bird lover Terry Townshend raises questions to Gilbert Van Kerckhove at's first speaking and networking event at Haollee Café in Beijing's Sanlitun SOHO on August 27. Photo: Ding Yi

The August 27 party ended with a Q&A part where several foreign friends raised questions to Kerckhove, among whom Terry Townshend, a bird lover from Britain, expressed deep concerns that a ski resort to be established in Songshan in Beijing's Yanqing for the 2022 Winter Olympic Games will be harmful to the endangered species inhabiting the place.

"The event is interesting, but I am not sure the government can deal with the air pollution by 2022," said Matt Hackler after the event. is planning to regularly hold themed speaking and networking event in Beijing for the interested foreigners and Chinese. 

To know when and where the next party will be held, please visit or follow it on WeChat (WeChat ID: sinous2012).

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Rhythm Media Group is a multi-media company, operating a US-based Chinese daily newspaper, The China Press, and the paper's website - (which has mobile-app version), as well as a Beijing-based English website The group boasts 15 branch offices across the US, and a number of cultural centers focusing on culture-related business in the North America, Chinese mainland, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

Launched in September 2012, the is designed to serve as a bridge between China and the US, and to keep its readership inside or outside China better informed by providing news and insights on China's current affairs, culture, life, business, people and sports.

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