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Chinese president holds banquet for int'l dignitaries
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19:32, August 24, 2008

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· Beijing 2008 Olympic Games
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Chinese President Hu Jintao on Sunday held a banquet at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in west Beijing to welcome foreign leaders and international dignitaries who will attend the Olympic Games closing ceremony in the evening.

Hu said in a toast that the Beijing Olympic Games have promoted the Olympic spirit of solidarity, friendship and peace.

"The success of the Beijing Olympic Games is attributable to the concerted efforts of the Chinese people and people from the rest of the world," said Hu.

"The glory goes to the Olympic Family, to athletes who have competed hard, to volunteers from different parts of the world and to friends the world over who have been involved in the Beijing Olympic Games in various ways," Hu said.

Calling the past 16 days "a wonderful and exciting time together," the Chinese leader said that the hosting of the Beijing Olympics will give a boost to the further development of sports in China, promote more extensive exchanges and cooperation between China and the International Olympic Family, and further enhance the mutual understanding and friendship between the Chinese people and people of all other countries.

The Beijing Olympic Games have become "a grand event of international sports competition and cultural exchanges" witnessed and joined by people of the whole world, said Hu.

Since the opening of the Beijing Games, friends from all parts of the world have come together in the Chinese capital to experience the charm of the International Olympic Movement, said the president.

"The Chinese people have greeted all the guests with great enthusiasm and shared with people from across the world the joy and happiness," he added.

He expressed sincere thanks to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the Olympic Family for their support and assistance, and extended heartfelt congratulations to the athletes from various countries and regions on their outstanding performances at the Beijing Games.

The president also pledged that China would work hard to guarantee the success of the Paralympic Games, scheduled to open in Beijing in early September.

"With the goal of 'Two Games, Equal Splendor,' we will deliver a high-standard Paralympic Games with distinctive features and continue to contribute our part to the development of the International Olympic Movement," he said.

He expressed the confidence that through the concerted efforts of people all over the world, the Olympic spirit will be carried forward and mankind will enjoy an even better future.

"We all look forward to the reunion in London in four years' time!" he told the guests.

Among the guests were IOC President Jacques Rogge and Honorary President Juan Antonio Samaranch, as well as leaders and dignitaries from more than 20 countries and regions.

Source: Xinhua

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