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A right royal soccer supporter
By Qin Jize (China Dailyh)
Updated: 2004-07-31 00:37

Majdoeen Sukayri was overjoyed when she found out another avid supporter was to appear for Jordan's Group B match against United Arab Emirates at the Asian Cup game in Beijing on Tuesday night.

He was the visiting King Abdullah II Bin Al-Hussein of Jordan who turned out in national team jersey. The king, who ran the Jordan Football Association from 1994 to 1999 until his accession to the throne, is currently on a state visit to China.

The king's cheering paid off as his national team, which is playing in the tournament for the first time, won the game and sent itself into the quarter-final against Japan yesterday in Southwest China's Chongqing Municipality.

"He is a great politician, a great person and a great football fan," said Majdoeen Sukayri, 22, a Jordanian student studying English at the Beijing Foreign Studies University.

Sukayri has been in China for five years and this is the third time the King has visited during her stay in the country. She said it was a great pleasure to know that the king is visiting the place where she is staying.

"As the daughter of a diplomat, I've been to many cities in the world," she said, "and honestly speaking, I have spent the best part of my life in Beijing."

Sukayri, who is now working as an intern for the United Nations Development Programme, plans to go back to Jordan to serve her country when her study days in Beijing are over.

Sukayri's feeling for China is shared by many Jordanians in Beijing. Ghassar Alnasser, an agricultural product businessman said that he would like to stay in Beijing for his whole life, if possible.

After eight years in China, Alnasser has found a lot of improvements have been made. "Resources and business opportunities have been greatly enhanced," he said.

He said he was very glad about the king's visit since it would enhance understanding and friendship between the two countries and thus make his business in China even easier.

Tuesday was a day for Jordanian footballers to celebrate. It was also the return date for the first batch of Jordanian officials who finished a 20-day training programme in Beijing.

Sixty officials from different departments of Jordan's government and key state-owned enterprises are involved in a training programme this summer at Peking University to be taught about the achievement of China's economic reform and its opening up.

A second group of 20 people will come to China in mid-August. This is the first time that the Chinese Embassy in Jordan has arrange such a big study group to China, said an official with the embassy.

According to the statistics given by Jordanian Customs last year, China is Jordan's fourth major trade partner, following Iraq, United States and Germany.

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A right royal soccer supporter


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