Chinese President Xi Jinping has highlighted the role of sports in promoting peace, solidarity and inclusiveness among countries and peoples.
The Chinese president gave the highlights on Saturday when he hosted a banquet to welcome guests who came to Hangzhou city to attend the opening ceremony of the 19th Asian Games.
President Jinping on behalf of the Chinese government and people, and in the name of his wife Peng Liyuan and himself, welcomed the guests at a dining hall near the famed West Lake.
The guests included King Norodom Sihamoni of Cambodia, President Bashar al-Assad of Syria, Crown Prince Sheikh Meshal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah of Kuwait, Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda of Nepal, Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao of Timor-Leste, Prime Minister Han Duck-soo of the Republic of Korea, and Speaker of the Dewan Rakyat of Malaysia Johari bin Abdul.
President Jinping said the Asian Games embodied the Asian people’s shared desire for peace, unity and inclusiveness, adding that the games has been a witness, participant and contributor of the Asian miracle — which is the overall stability, rapid and sustained economic growth over the past decades.
He said as members of a community with a shared future, Asian countries need to pursue good neighborliness and mutual benefit, and reject the Cold War mentality and bloc confrontation.
vice president of the National Olympic Committee of Thailand, Khunying Patama Leeswadtrakul, said earlier that Asia is a region with diverse cultures, and the Asiad presented an opportunity for the athletes and delegations to further deepen mutual understanding and exchanges through the bond of sports.
Reports say that with all 45 members of the Olympic Council of Asia sending over 12,000 athletes to the Games, the Hangzhou Asiad is already the Asiad with the most participants, most sports and largest overall scale.
According to the report, the Republic of Korea, Mongolia and Palestine have each sent the largest delegation in their history of the Asian Games.
This will be the third Asiad in China following the Beijing games in 1990 and the Guangzhou games in 2010.