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China to promote Olympic Manifesto, Olympic spirit
21:55, July 24, 2008

China on Thursday started a campaign to promote the most important document of the modern Olympics -- the Olympic Manifesto.

"The campaign is to show the world that the Chinese government and people cherish peace, pursue progress and worship the Olympic spirit," Liu Binjie, director of the General Administration of Press and Publication, told a press conference.

A promotional committee was announced at the conference. That body will organize activities, such as exhibiting the manuscript in Beijing, which will be the only display of it around the world.

On Nov. 25, 1892, Baron de Coubertin, the "father" of the modern Olympics, gave a long speech at France's University de Sorbonne in Paris in support of his idea to revive the Olympics.

The 14-page speech has become known as the Olympic Manifesto.

"The significance of the Olympic spirit is not in cultivating competition machines and elite athletes, but educating the youth to live a healthy life physically and mentally by means of sports," said He, who is also chairman of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) commission for Culture and Olympic Education.

Since Beijing won the bid for the 2008 Games, in 2001, the culture of the Games has become more popular in China. Liu said more than 1,000 related books, periodicals and audio-visual products, involving more than 300 publishing houses, have been produced.

The Olympic Manifesto covers not only sports, but also the adventurous human spirit, the idea of peaceful competition, mutual respect and world peace.

After it disappeared for more than a century, Marquis Francois d'Amat, a French diplomatic analyst, discovered the original manuscript inside a safe in a Swiss bank right before the 100th anniversary of the IOC. The Marquis thus became the only person who had the right to authorize the Manifesto's circulation.

Under the Marquis's authorization, the Chinese edition of the Manifesto has been published by the People's Publishing House of China. The book has been published in seven other languages and has a general introduction to previous Olympic Games. It will be sent to other countries as a present by the promoting committee.

"We also want to show the world that China can pass on the Olympics spirit and friendship through a successful Games with Chinese characteristics," said Liu.


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