MORE than 88 per cent of Beijing residents say the city should apply to host the 2004 Olympics if it fails in its bid for the 2000 Games, according to a survey. Conducted by the Beijing City Social and Economic Research Team in May, the survey also found that 98.7 per cent of Beijing's residents supported its bid for the 2000 Games. More than 10,000 people were randomly chosen for the survey from among the city's 12 districts. The survey results were reported by Xinhua (the New China News Agency) yesterday. Propaganda on the Beijing bid for the Olympics has been toned down in the past few weeks, with officials focusing public attention on the upcoming All-China Games instead. According to the Xinhua report, most of the respondents want the city to keep trying for the Games if it fails in its 2000 bid. ''Even if it fails, it helps promote China and the policy of reform and openness. Application for hosting the Games is itself a contribution to the spirit of the Olympiad,'' the report said. The majority of respondents believed that Beijing had the edge over other contenders because of ''the support from the people and the Government''.