British PM: Beijing Games set new standard for London
By Li Xiaokun
China Daily Staff Writer
Updated: 2008-08-23 07:34


The "spectacular" Beijing Olympics has set a new standard for the next host, London, visiting British Prime Minister Gordon Brown told President Hu Jintao Friday.

Brown arrived in Beijing with his family Friday morning, despite calls for him to boycott the event from some opposition politicians. He will attend the final days of the Games, including the closing ceremony that will end with the handover of the Olympic flag from Beijing to London.

"With the whole world watching, the Beijing Olympic Games has captured the imagination of the entire global community," Brown said at the Great Hall of the People.

Chinese President Hu Jintao (R) shakes hands with British Prime Minister Gordon Brown during their meeting in Beijing, China, Aug. 22, 2008. Brown arrived in Beijing on Friday morning to watch the Games and attend the closing ceremony of the Beijing Olympic Games. [Xinhua]

"The 2008 Beijing Olympics has set a new standard for the Olympic Games which we in London in 2012 will seek to follow," he said.

Hu warmly welcomed the Browns and thanked the British prime minister who, in a gesture of support of the Games, greeted the Olympic flame at No 10 Downing Street, his London residence, in April.

Brown is planning to use his visit to seek ways of ensuring the UK's medal haul in Beijing is not a one-off and that the Great Britain team builds on its success in 2012.

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As of press time Friday, Britain had won 18 gold medals, and was in third spot on the table behind China and the United States.

During the meeting with Hu, Brown hailed the agreement of cooperation reached on Thursday between the sports administrations of the two countries, which will help British athletes to improve their skills in events such as diving and table tennis, at which China excels.

Brown is also scheduled to attend a reception for some of Britain's young hopefuls, as well as watching some sports events, a source with the Foreign Ministry said.

"I don't think the British public thought we would do so well," he told reporters on his way to Beijing.

The prime minister did not reserve his cheers only for the British team but also lauded the "spectacular success" of the Chinese team.

Britain's Paula Radcliffe carries the Olympic torch across Tower Bridge during its journey through London April 6, 2008. London is the fourth stop of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games torch relay outside the Chinese mainland. [Agencies] 

Brown is traveling with his wife and their two young sons, John, 4, and Fraser, 2, who were said to be excited at the chance to watch the Games. It is the first time Brown has taken his sons on an official overseas trip.

The British prime minister is among the latest wave of world leaders to arrive in Beijing ahead of the closing ceremony.

President Hu Friday also held talks with the presidents of Dominica and Iceland, and the governor-general of Australia.

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