Tuesday, March 21, 2023
HomeSportsXi Jinping to launch Beijing Winter Olympics with Putin, Imran Khan

Xi Jinping to launch Beijing Winter Olympics with Putin, Imran Khan

Beijing on Friday will become the first city to host both the summer and winter Olympic Games with a grand opening ceremony set to launch the fortnight-long event.

Chinese President Xi Jinping will declare the games open in a ceremony at the Bird’s Nest National Stadium, which was built for, and launched, the summer Olympics in 2008 as well. Also as in 2008, the lavish opening ceremony is being directed by the renowned Chinese filmmaker Zhang Yimou.

In a video address to the International Olympic Committee on Thursday, Mr. Xi said the world was “entering a new period of turbulence and transformation and facing multiple challenges” under “the combined impact of changes unseen in a hundred years and a once-in-a-century pandemic”. The theme for the games, he said, was “Together for a Shared Future”, building on the “One World, One Dream” theme from 2008.

Among foreign leaders in attendance at Friday’s opening will be Russian President Vladimir Putin, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, five Presidents from Central Asia, President Halimah Yacob of Singapore, President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi of Egypt and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia.

The U. S. and U.K. are among a dozen countries that announced a “diplomatic boycott” of the games – their athletes will, however, participate – because of human rights violations in Xinjiang. India on Thursday said it would not be officially represented at the opening and closing ceremonies.

Mr. Putin, in an article published in China’s official Xinhua news agency, said Russia “highly appreciates that the Russia-China comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination, entering a new era, has reached an unprecedented level and become a model of efficiency, responsibility, and aspiration for the future.”

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