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President Xi emphasizes the Asian Games’ role in promoting peace, unity in Asia

President Xi emphasizes the Asian Games' role in promoting peace


HANGZHOU, Sept 23 — President Xi Jinping of the People’s Republic of China extended a warm welcome to an esteemed gathering of international dignitaries during the opening ceremony of the 19th Asian Games held by the scenic West Lake in Hangzhou.

In his address, President Xi expressed his delight at joining both familiar faces and new friends for this grand occasion. He conveyed greetings and hospitality on behalf of the Chinese government and its people, along with his personal greetings and those of his wife.

The President’s presence at the ceremony underscored the importance of this international sporting event and China’s commitment to fostering unity, friendship, and cooperation across the Asian continent.

The 19th Asian Games, hosted by Hangzhou, China, have brought together athletes and sports enthusiasts from across Asia to participate in various sporting disciplines, showcasing their talent and promoting cultural exchange.

The ceremony, attended by distinguished guests including the Acting President of the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA), Raja Randhir Singh, and the President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Thomas Bach, was marked by a spirit of camaraderie and celebration.

The 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou are poised to be a spectacular showcase of athletic prowess, sportsmanship, and cultural diversity, with President Xi Jinping extending an invitation for all to enjoy and celebrate this momentous occasion.

The games, which will run from September 10 to September 25, 2023, promise to be a memorable event promoting harmony and unity among Asian nations through sports.

Today is the Autumn Equinox, known as Qiufen on the Chinese lunar calender. On this day of harvest and reunion, the cauldron of the Asian Games will light up again in China. Since being honored with the right to host the Games, China has earnestly fulfilled its commitments and made every effort for its preparation.

We look forward to working closely together with the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) and delegations from all countries and regions to deliver to the world a great event that is distinctly Chinese, uniquely Asian and spectacular and to make new contribution to the Olympic Movement in Asia and the world.

The Asian Games embodies the Asian people’s shared desire for peace, unity and inclusiveness.

Over decades, Asia has enjoyed overall stability as well as sustained rapid economic growth, creating the Asian Miracle that is incomparable across the world. The Asian Games has not only been a witness to this achievement, but also a participant and a contributor. As a community with a shared future connected by mountains and rivers as well as cultural affinity, we should use sports to promote peace, pursue good neighborliness and mutual benefit, and reject Cold War mentality and bloc confrontation. We should make Asia an anchor of world peace.

The 19th Asian Games has set a new record in the numbers of registered athletes and events, reflecting the great expectations and firm support of the Asian people for the Hangzhou Games. As humanity faces unprecedented global challenges, we should use sports to promote unity, seize the historic opportunity, and jointly stand up to the challenges. We should honor the OCA motto of “Ever Onward,” and open up broader prospects for the Asian road toward common development, openness and integration.

As an important birthplace of human civilization, Asia has fostered splendid cultures. The 19th Asian Games has included many disciplines with distinctive Asian features. It provides a platform to celebrate sports and culture, and showcases Asian culture that is inclusive, vibrant and always keen to learn from others. We should use sports to promote inclusiveness, enhance confidence in our civilizations, pursue exchanges and mutual learning, and renew the glory of Asian civilizations.

For centuries, Hangzhou has been known for its breathtaking natural beauty, rich endowment and a thriving cultural life. Marco Polo described it as “the City of Heaven, the finest and the noblest in the world.” I once worked in Zhejiang Province for quite a few years. Committed to reform and opening up, the Province is now fast-tracking toward high-quality development. It is building a demonstration zone for common prosperity, and has become a pioneer in Chinese modernization. I wish you all an unforgettable experience in the picturesque Zhejiang and a fond memory by the flames of the Asian Games.

Now, I would like to propose a toast, To the success of the 19th Asian Games, To the advancement of the Olympic Movement, To the unity and friendship of the Asian people, and To the health of all distinguished guests and your families.

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