August 5, 2008

Hu Promises High-Level Olympics

Chinese President Hu Jintao, calling the Beijing Olympics a grand celebration of friendship and peace for mankind, promised a high-level of Games.

The showpiece event -- through which China hopes to project itself as a modern, highly advanced nation of more than 1 billion -- opens Friday amid concerns about terrorists seeking to disrupt the Games.

It is also our hope that through the Games, we can show the world the sincere aspiration of the Chinese people to share the benefits of development and to join with the rest of the world in building a bright future, Hu said Monday at the opening ceremony of the 120th session of the International Olympic Committee.

Hu said China hoped the Games would further enhance cooperation in sports and other fields between China and other countries and regions.

In the last three decades of reform and opening-up, China has made not only rapid economic development and social progress, but also great achievements in sport, he said.

Protests this year against Chinese rule of Tibet, and recent terrorist incidents, have caused concern about security during the games.

On Monday, 16 border region policemen died in an attack in the Muslim-dominated Xinjiang region in northwest China.