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Beijing Paralympics to highlight Olympic spirit and glory of humanity
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09:00, September 06, 2008

While the beautiful memory of the Beijing Olympic Games remains fresh, the Beijing Paralympic Games are near.

The flame of the Beijing Paralympic Games will burn atop the Bird's Nest on Saturday night. It will be a night of reunion and dream fulfillment for more than 4,000 disabled athletes from 148 countries and regions, a night of warmth and joy for the 83 million Chinese with disabilities and the world's disabled population of more than 600 million, as well as a night of passion and harmony for the six billion people across the globe.

The handicapped welcome the flame at the Summer Palace during the Beijing 2008 Paralympic torch relay in Beijing, capital of China, Sept. 5, 2008. (Xinhua Photo)

The Paralympic movement, concept and spirit constitute an outstanding contribution to the modern Olympic Movement. Just like the modern Olympic Games, which has a history of more than a century, the 48-year-old Paralympic Games also seek to showcase the noble nature of mankind, such as the enterprising spirit, transcendence, enthusiasm in participation, as well as harmony and fraternity.

"Two Games, Equal Splendor" is a promise China has made to the world. And China has proposed the concepts of "transcendence, integration and equality" for the Beijing Paralympic Games. The country and its people are fulfilling the promise and performing international duties with utmost sincerity and in a down-to-earth manner. This has fully demonstrated that China highly values the Paralympic Games, earnestly takes care of the disabled, and sincerely wishes to promote the humanitarian spirit.

Local people welcome the flame with sign language during the Beijing 2008 Paralympics torch relay in Luoyang, a city of central China's Henan Province, Sept. 4, 2008. (Xinhua Photo)

This September, Beijing is opening its arms to welcome disabled athletes from all over the world, who have come to share the idea of "One World, One Dream," and to cement friendship, call on peace and promote harmony.

Taking part in sports activities, for fun or for competition -- this is an important way for the disabled people to get integrated into society on an equal footing. And they yearn to prove themselves and show vigor of life in the sports arena.

Integration, equality and common happiness are indispensable elements of a harmonious society. Through equal emphasis on sports activities for both disabled and able-bodied people, we can encourage greater participation in sport and better integration into society by people with disabilities.

China's hosting of the Paralympic Games is also a major step forward for human rights protection. Life quality of the disabled is a benchmark for the civilization level of a modern society. Respect and care for the disabled is an important indicator of social progress. Safeguarding the rights and interests of the disabled is a fundamental protection of human rights.

Promoting the welfare of the disabled people is an important part of socialism with Chinese characteristics. The development of sporting for the disabled has reflected the historical progress China has made since 1949, particularly in the past three decades of reform and opening-up.

Thanks to the country's emphasis on human rights development, the environment and conditions for the disabled to participate in social affairs have improved remarkably, the living standards of the disabled have kept rising, and the social atmosphere of respecting, protecting and helping the disabled has been fostered.

Through the hosting of the Beijing Paralympic Games, the whole society will have a better understanding of the life of the disabled, and make intensified efforts to take care of and help them. The Games will also boost the self-esteem, self-confidence and self-reliance of people with disabilities. Furthermore, the communications and exchanges between Chinese and foreign Paralympians during the Games will help our country draw experience from the rest of the world, find out and solve our own problems, and do an even better job in seeking benefits for the disabled.

Source: Xinhua

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