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President Hu holds grand luncheon to welcome distinguished guests for Olympics
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22:26, August 08, 2008

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Chinese President Hu Jintao held a grand luncheon on Friday for the heads of state and government, royals, leading officials of organizations, and other eminent guests for the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympic Games on Friday night.

In his toast, Hu first extended a warm welcome to all the distinguished guests, saying the Beijing Olympics are an opportunity for both China and the world.

"By participating in the Olympic Games, people should carry forward the Olympic spirit of solidarity, friendship and peace, facilitate sincere exchanges among people from all countries, deepen mutual understanding, enhance friendship and rise above differences, and promote the building of a harmonious world featuring lasting peace and common prosperity," said Hu.

Chinese President Hu Jintao (2nd R, front) hosts a welcoming luncheon in honor of world dignitaries who are here to attend the opening ceremony of Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, in Beijing, China, Aug. 8, 2008.

IOC President Jacques Rogge and Honorary President Juan Antonio Samaranch were among the 110-plus honored guests who were invited to the luncheon from more than 80 countries and regions.

Chinese top legislator Wu Bangguo, Premier Wen Jiabao, top political advisor Jia Qinglin, Vice President Xi Jinping, Vice Premier Li Keqiang,and other senior Communist Party officials Li Changchun, He Guoqiang and Zhou Yongkang were present.

"In the course of bidding and preparing for the Olympic Games, the Chinese Government and people received sincere help from governments and people of various countries and strong support from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the Olympic Family. I would like to express heartfelt thanks to you and, through you, to all those who have contributed to the Beijing Olympic Games," the Chinese president said.

The Olympic Games are a great sporting event and offer a platform for cultural exchanges. By bringing together people of different countries, ethnic groups and cultural backgrounds, the Olympic Movement has helped enhance mutual understanding and friendship among all peoples, and has made significant contribution to the noble cause of peace and development, Hu said in the toast.

"To host the Olympic Games is a century-old dream of the Chinese nation and the shared aspiration of all the Chinese people," the Chinese president said. To fulfill that dream, ever since Beijing won the bid in 2001, the Chinese government and people have been working hard to honor the solemn commitment made to the international community," Hu said.

Guided by the concept of "green Olympics, high-tech Olympics and people's Olympics," the Chinese people have done their utmost in the preparations for the Games, said the president.

"I am confident that, with the support of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the Olympic Family, and together with you, we will deliver a high-standard Olympic Games with distinctive feature," he said.

The luncheon was presided over by Liu Qi, president of the Beijing Organizing Committee of the 29th Olympic Games.


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