Beijing 2022 builds platform for cultural exchange and mutual understanding, said SCO chief

(Xinhua) 15:43, January 31, 2022

The Beijing Olympic Winter Games will not only provide a competitive stage for athletes from different countries and regions but also build a platform for cultural exchange and mutual understanding, said Zhang Ming, secretary-general of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).

Zhang made the remarks during an exclusive interview with Xinhua prior to the opening of Beijing 2022, as 12 SCO countries will attend the opening ceremony taking place on February 4 at the National Stadium.

Guided by SCO's Shanghai Spirit of "mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality, consultation, respect for diversity of civilizations, and pursuit of common development," SCO member states have called for the non-politicization of athletes and sporting events and stressed the need to actively promote the development of the Olympic movement and the Paralympic Movement for people with disabilities.

"The delegation heads believe that the 2022 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games in Beijing will strengthen friendship, mutual understanding and harmony among nations," read the Joint Communique following the 20th Meeting of the Council of Heads of Government of the Member States of SCO.

"Many ambassadors from SCO countries spoke highly of the high-level organization of Beijing 2022," said the SCO chief. "Including transportation, venue construction, event service and the application of science and technology and environmental protection approaches. They believed that the conditions provided by Beijing will help the athletes perform better."

"We have every reason to believe that, despite the impact of COVID-19, China will deliver a simple, safe and splendid Olympic Games to the world, which will leave an unforgettable impression on athletes and spectators," Zhang said. "The SCO family will be proud."

According to its Bishkek Declaration, the SCO, one of the world's largest political and economic groupings, has long been stressing the significance of sports as an effective tool for promoting dialogue between nations, as events like the Kunming and Issyk-Kul SCO Marathons all help enhance the friendship and mutual understanding among the people.

With the Beijing Winter Olympics around the corner, the SCO will launch a new Beijing 2022 column on its website, following and sharing the Beijing Games from its own perspective.

"Upholding the slogan of 'Together for a Shared Future,' I believe the Beijing Winter Olympics and Paralympics will carry forward the Olympic Spirit, promote friendship, mutual understanding, harmony and inclusiveness among people around the globe, and convey the determination and confidence of the world to join hands in fighting COVID-19," Zhang added.

"I wish the Beijing 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games a great success."

(Web editor: Kou Jie, Bianji)