Xi, global leaders call for solidarity

Artists stage the performance Forming a Snowflake during the opening ceremony of the 2022 Olympic Winter Games at the National Stadium in Beijing on February 4. PHOTOS BY CHEN YICHEN / XINHUA
Artists stage the performance Forming a Snowflake during the opening ceremony of the 2022 Olympic Winter Games at the National Stadium in Beijing on February 4. PHOTOS BY CHEN YICHEN / XINHUA

Chinese president and international dignitaries urge cooperation at Beijing banquet. Xu Wei reports

Images of people from all walks of life are displayed during the ceremony segment Tribute to the People
Images of people from all walks of life are displayed during the ceremony segment Tribute to the People

Published: Fri 11 Feb 2022, 10:53 AM

Last updated: Fri 11 Feb 2022, 10:55 AM

President Xi Jinping called for greater solidarity in the international community to respond to various global challenges as he hosted foreign dignitaries attending the opening ceremony of the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games at a banquet in Beijing on February 5.

While toasting the banquet’s participants at the Great Hall of the People, Xi highlighted the need to promote the spirit of the Olympic Movement and meet the common challenges facing the international community through solidarity.

In the face of the pandemic and emerging global issues, including climate change and terrorism, the only way for all countries to address the various challenges effectively is to strengthen solidarity and cooperation, and work together for a shared future, he said.

“We shall keep in mind the original aspiration of the Olympic Movement and jointly uphold world peace. The Olympic Movement was born for the sake of peace and has thrived thanks to peace,” Xi said.

He underlined the necessity to uphold mutual respect, equality, dialogue and consultation, and to strive to bridge differences, eliminate conflict and work together for a world of durable peace.

It is important to act on the purpose of the Olympic Movement, continuously pursue human progress and stay true to humanity’s common values of peace, development, equity, justice, democracy and freedom, he said.

The president also stressed the significance of promoting exchanges and mutual learning among civilisations, and working together to build a community with a shared future for mankind.

He express ed sincere appreciation to all governments, peoples and international organisations who care about and support the Beijing Games.

“After 14 years, the Olympic cauldron has been lit once again in Beijing, making the city the world’s first to host both the Summer and Winter Olympic Games,” he said.

He reiterated China’s pledge to host a green, inclusive, open and clean event, saying that the nation has made every effort to counter the impacts of COVID-19, earnestly fulfilled its solemn pledge to the international community and ensured the smooth opening of the Games as scheduled.

He noted that by preparing for and organising the Olympic Winter Games and promoting Olympic winter sports, China has popularised winter sports among ordinary people, achieved the goal of engaging 300 million Chinese people in snow and ice sports and made new contributions to the Olympic cause worldwide.

The dignitaries attending the banquet were welcomed with a corridor showcasing China’s intangible cultural heritage before joining Xi and his wife, Peng Liyuan, at the Golden Hall, which was decorated with elements symbolising the Beijing Games and Spring Festival, China’s most important holiday.

Over 30 foreign heads of state, government and international organisations and members of royal families attended the opening ceremony on the night of February 4.

International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach and United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres spoke at the banquet. They offered their congratulations to the success of the opening ceremony, saying that they will never forget the outstanding and splendid showpiece.

The Chinese people are widely known for their efficiency, resolve and vitality, which have been demonstrated in their fight against COVID-19 and the hosting of the Beijing Winter Olympics, they said.

China has reached its goal of engaging 300 million people in winter sports, which will forever reshape the global landscape of ice and snow sports, and benefit China and the rest of the world, they added.

They echoed Xi’s appeal for stronger solidarity and cooperation in response to global challenges, saying that the global community should use the Beijing Winter Olympics as an opportunity to go beyond their differences and work together for a better shared future.

While meeting with Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, on February 5, Xi said China is willing to join hands with the UAE to build a comprehensive strategic partnership in the new era.

Noting that the China-UAE relationship has become a model of relations between China and Middle East countries, Xi said the Chinese side stands ready to work with the UAE to support each other’s position on issues involving respective core interests.

Xi said that China will actively participate in major development projects of the UAE and expand their cooperation in fields including new energy, space and aviation.

Sheikh Mohamed said strengthening the relationship with China is a top priority for the UAE’s foreign policy and the UAE will remain committed to consolidating and deepening its comprehensive strategic partnership with China.

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