China has enjoyed a lot of success in ice sports at Sapporo 2017 but has done less well on snow ©Getty Images

Chinese President Xi Jinping has urged the country's performances in snow sports to match those in ice events by the time Beijing hosts the Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2022.

Xi delivered this message after touring venues and speaking to athletes as the Asian Winter Games continues here in Sapporo.

Only four of China's 11 gold, nine silver and seven bronze medals won so far have come on snow.

"Our athletes perform well in ice-based events while lagging behind in skiing events," declared Xi. 

"We have to boost the overall level of winter sports."

Three of China's golds have come in snowboarding - for Zang Ruxin in the women's slalom and for halfpipers Zhang Yiwei and Liu Jiayu - while Man Dandan won the women's cross country sprint.

Zhang Yan has also won two silver medals in biathlon, but their best Alpine skiing result so far has been a seventh place in the women's giant slalom for Yueming Ni.

In ski jumping, an 11th for large hill leaper Tian Zhandong has been their high-point.

Xi Jinping pictured on a visit to the Beijing 2022 mountain cluster in Zhangjiakou earlier this year ©Getty Images
Xi Jinping pictured on a visit to the Beijing 2022 mountain cluster in Zhangjiakou earlier this year ©Getty Images

The world's most populous nation have been far more successful in ice sports.

They have so far won three golds in short track, two each in figure skating and curling and an additional one in speed skating.

Xi was speaking as he visited the Wukesong Arena proposed as one of two ice hockey venues as well as the Capital Gymnasium scheduled to host figure skating and short track.

"The 2022 Olympics will provide a good opportunity to develop our country and boost the national morale," he said.

"The preparation and organization should follow rational planning, and we should learn from overseas expertise and use resources frugally,"

According to China Daily Asia, other priorities include post-event legacy plans at venues and ensuring all contracts are free of corruption.

This follows problems with both of these areas at last year's Summer Olympic and Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro.

It comes after Xi met with International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach during a visit to Lausanne last month to discuss sport and the Games.