Guangzhou Asian Games shows China's soft power: Zardari

13:54, November 14, 2010      

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The Guangzhou Asian Games was a great demonstration of China's soft power to the world, said Pakistani president Asif Ali Zardari on Saturday.

"The opening ceremony of the Asian Games was very impressive," he said in an exclusive interview with Xinhua, adding it tells the world not only China's economic power, but also the nation's culture, discipline and romance.

Zardari, together with his son Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, attended the extravaganza which was staged on Friday evening in southern China city of Guangzhou.

Calling the games "already a success", he said countries or regions hosting future Asian Games need to learn from China.

Pakistan has sent 237 athletes to 17 events at the Guangzhou Games, with hopes for medals in hockey, squash, Kabaddi, cricket, wrestling, sailing, snooker and boxing.

"I hope our athletes show their best in the competitions, and better to win gold in Kabaddi and squash which are our traditional strong events," said the Pakistani president.

The 2010 Asian Games will see a record 9,704 athletes from 45 Asian countries and regions, competing in 42 sports.

It was the second China tour of Zardari this year, and also the sixth since he assumed presidency in September of 2008.

"As I always say, China is my second home. I love to come to the country and meet with Chinese friends," said the 54-year-old.

Zardari said he was glad to see the progress and success of the Chinese people in each of his "motivating" tours.

On the table right beside Zardari was a portrait of his wife Benazir Bhutto, former Pakistani prime minister who was assassinated in a gun and bomb attack in late 2007 after addressing an election rally in the garrison city of Rawalpindi.

In his two China trips this year, Zardari brought his daughters or son with Bhutto to the country. He hopes to pass on the traditional friendship between the two countries from generation to generation.

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