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Xi stresses Olympic spirit in Hangzhou

By XU WEI in Hangzhou | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2023-09-23 07:15
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President Xi Jinping meets with International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, on Friday. [Photo/XINHUA]

China has full confidence to host a spectacular Asian Games with Chinese characteristics and Asian style, and Beijing will remain committed to promoting the Olympic Movement as well as solidarity and friendship among the Asian people, President Xi Jinping said on Friday.

Xi made the remarks during separate meetings with Thomas Bach, president of the International Olympic Committee, and Raja Randhir Singh, the acting president of the Olympic Council of Asia, in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province.

Bach and Singh are in Hangzhou to attend the opening ceremony of the 19th Asian Games, which will open on Saturday and run through Oct 8.

During the meeting with Bach, Xi emphasized that China has always attached great importance to the development of sports, actively participated in international Olympic affairs, and practiced the Olympic motto of "Faster, Higher, Stronger — Together".

Beijing's efforts to promote the Olympic spirit will never stop, and it is willing to work with the IOC to adhere to the principle of the non-politicization of sports, fully utilize the legacy of the Beijing Winter Olympics, and make new and greater contributions to the Olympic cause, he said.

Xi expressed his gratitude to Bach and the IOC for their long-term support for the Chinese Olympic movement and sports development.

Faced with major changes unseen in a century and a once-in-a-century pandemic, the IOC has adhered to the Olympic spirit, upheld the Olympic principles, opposed the politicization of sports, and played a unique and important role in advancing the global Olympic movement, Xi noted.

In doing so, the IOC has contributed significantly to maintaining world peace, promoting development, and advancing human unity and progress, he added.

Bach noted that the Chinese government attaches great importance to the development of sports and has made important contributions to the international Olympic movement.

The Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics was "truly exceptional", and the Chinese people and the people of the world will continue to benefit from the legacy of the Games, he said.

The IOC remains committed to upholding multilateralism, opposing the politicization of sports, and appreciates China's correct stance on this matter, he said, adding that the IOC is satisfied with its successful cooperation with China and appreciates China's support for the cause of the international Olympic movement.

He expressed hopes for further cooperation with China and said that the Hangzhou Asian Games will be a successful and wonderful event that promotes unity and friendship in Asia.

During the meeting with Singh, Xi noted that the Hangzhou Games will be the third time that China has hosted the Asian Games, after Beijing in 1990 and Guangzhou in 2010.

The number of participating athletes and the scale of events at the Asian Games have reached a historic high level, and the Chinese government and people are both confident and capable of leaving the world an unforgettable memory in Hangzhou, he said.

The president expressed his gratitude to Singh and the Olympic Council of Asia for their longterm contributions to the development of Chinese sports, especially their efforts in the preparation for the Hangzhou Asian Games. He pointed out that the OCA has long been committed to promoting the Asian Olympic movement and enhancing peace and development in Asia, achieving positive results.

China is willing to strengthen cooperation with the OCA to jointly promote the cause of the Asian Olympic movement and enhance the unity of Asian people, he added.

Singh expressed his thanks on behalf of the OCA for the long-term support from the Chinese government for the development of the Asian Olympic movement and for hosting the Hangzhou Asian Games.

He praised the impressive and advanced facilities at Hangzhou's venues, saying that the athletes are very satisfied.

The way the volunteers work and the fact that people are courteous, very friendly and hospitable "makes everyone feel at home" and "give the athletes great confidence and a feeling of warmth", he said.

He said he believed that the Hangzhou Asian Games would be a great success, and he looked forward to China continuing to make important contributions to the development of sports in Asia.

President Xi Jinping meets with Raja Randhir Singh, the acting president of the Olympic Council of Asia, in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, on Friday. [Photo/XINHUA]


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