President: China to Honor Commitment and Host High-level Olympics

Chinese President Hu Jintao said in Beijing on Monday that the Chinese government and people would honor their commitment of hosting a high-level Olympic Games with distinguishing features in Beijing.

"It is also our hope that through the Games, we can show the world the sincere aspiration of the Chinese people to share the benefits of development and to join with the rest of the world in building a bright future," Hu said in a speech delivered at the opening ceremony of the 120th session of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), held in the National Center for the Performing Arts in central Beijing.

With just four days before the opening of the 29th summer Olympics, the Chinese president expressed his "heartfelt gratitude" to IOC President Jacques Rogge and all IOC members, for their "important guidance and warm support in many ways" for Beijing during the city's bid and preparation for the Games.

Calling the Olympic Games "the largest international sports and cultural event in the world" and "a grand celebration of friendship and peace for mankind," Hu said China hoped the Beijing Games would further promote the development of the Olympic Movement, further spread the Olympic spirit, and further enhance the cooperation in sports and other fields between China and other countries and regions.

The president pointed out that the Chinese people are keen on sports, while the Chinese government has attached great importance to the development of sports and has made great efforts to improve the whole nation's physical quality and health level.

"In the last three decades of reform and opening-up, China has made not only rapid economic development and social progress, but also great achievements in sport," he noted.

Sport has played a vital role in promoting China's social and economic development, and served as a major bridge for China's exchange and cooperation with the outside world, he added.

Hu praised the modern Olympic Movement for its "outstanding contributions to the progress of world sport, the strengthening of friendship among athletes and people of the world, and the promotion of world peace and development."

The Chinese government and people would like to make contribution to the progress of the Olympic Movement and to the building of a harmonious world of perpetual peace and common prosperity, said the president.

The Beijing Olympic Games are slated to open on Friday evening in the National Stadium, dubbed the Bird's Nest, in north Beijing.

(Xinhua News Agency August 5, 2008)

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