Chinese President Hu Jintao on Friday told international dignitaries coming for the Beijing Olympic Games that the Beijing Olympics is an opportunity for both China and the world.
"The Beijing Olympic Games is an opportunity not only for China but also for the whole world," Hu said in his toast at a welcoming banquet for foreign leaders and other VIP guests who will attend the Games's opening ceremony on Friday evening, including IOC President Jacques Rogge and Honorary President Juan Antonio Samaranch.
"We 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 addresses a welcoming luncheon in Beijing, China, Aug. 8, 2008. Hu Jintao hosted a welcoming luncheon in honor of world dignitaries who are here to attend the opening ceremony of Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.
He said there has never been a greater need for people in the world to understand, accommodate and cooperate with each other, as the world faces both unprecedented development opportunities and grave challenges.
"The Olympic Games is a great sporting event and it also offers a platform for cultural exchanges," said Hu.
He said by bring 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.
He hailed the Olympic Movement, which started over 2,800 years ago in the sacred Olympia, as "a valuable spiritual and cultural asset offered to humanity by the people of ancient Greece."
He said the modern Olympic Movement, born in 1894, has built on the ancient Olympic heritage and grown into a cultural and sporting event with the broadest participation and greatest impact in the world.
At successive Olympic Games over the years, athletes from across the world, committed to the motto of "Citius-Altius-Fortius", have made their utmost efforts in quest of sporting excellence and set one record after another, leading to the rapid development of athletic sports, said the president.