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Foreign Minister Wang Yi on President Xi Jinping's Attendance at Opening Ceremony of XXII Olympic Winter Games

Visit to Sochi: A Friendship Journey to Winter Olympics Opens New Chapter in Diplomacy

-Foreign Minister Wang Yi on President Xi Jinping's Attendance at Opening Ceremony of XXII Olympic Winter Games

At the invitation of Russian President Vladimir Putin, Chinese President Xi Jinping went to Sochi in Russia from February 6 to 8 to attend the opening ceremony of the XXII Olympic Winter Games. At the end of the visit, Foreign Minister Wang Yi introduced the relevant information.

Wang Yi said that, at the time when all the Chinese people were celebrating the Spring Festival of the Year of the Horse, President Xi Jinping traveled thousands of miles to Russia to attend the opening ceremony of the Sochi Winter Olympics. Upon arrival, President Xi Jinping began to work in a non-stop manner. At a short duration of 43 hours he attended 12 bilateral and multilateral events and then immediately returned to China. Such "acupoint stimulating" visit characterized by brevity, directness and swiftness creates a new model of a Chinese state leader to attend large-scale international sports events abroad. The visit integrates sports with diplomacy and mutually promotes the bilateral and multilateral events, with key points being highlighted and many fruits being achieved at one time. It is another innovation in China's diplomatic practice, and demonstrates the pioneering diplomatic ideas as well as the highly efficient and practical working style of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) with Comrade Xi Jinping as the General Secretary. The visit achieved full success and significant outcomes.

Wang Yi said that, the visit to Sochi embodies China's firm support for Russia hosting the Winter Olympics and has also made a strategic planning for the development of China-Russia relations in the new year. China and Russia regard each other as the most important comprehensive strategic partner of coordination. In March last year, President Xi Jinping chose Russia as his first destination of foreign visit immediately after taking office, and reached an important consensus with President Vladimir Putin on deepening China-Russia all-round strategic coordination. The two heads of state have maintained frequent and close contacts and established a good working relationship and close personal friendship. At the beginning of the new year, President Xi Jinping attended the Winter Olympics hosted by Russia at the invitation, and Russia becomes the first country visited by President Xi for two consecutive years, which once again proves the high level and distinctiveness of China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination. Being regarded as the most distinguished guest, President Xi Jinping received warm hospitality from the Russian side. The two heads of state had a long meeting and talked in a close, friendly and practical way. President Xi Jinping stressed that, China and Russia are good neighbors, good partners and good friends. China supports the Sochi Winter Olympics and believes that it will certainly achieve full success. President Putin thanked President Xi Jinping for making a special trip to Russia to celebrate this grand event together with the Russian people, and said that President Xi Jinping's visit to Russia during the Chinese Spring Festival is a visit to good friends indeed. The two heads of state not only laid emphasis on the top-level design to guide the bilateral cooperation in all fields from a strategic perspective, but talked in a practical and specific manner, concerning themselves with the details of the implementation of the bilateral consensus and agreements. The two sides decided that in the new year, they will continue maintaining close exchanges, increasing mutual support and deepening practical cooperation, join hands in building the Silk Road Economic Belt, well organize the activities of the China-Russia Youth Friendly Exchanges Year, strengthen strategic coordination in international affairs, and well prepare the celebration of the 70th anniversary of the victory of the World Anti-Fascism War and the Chinese People's War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression. The two heads of state also jointly held video talks with captains of Chinese and Russian naval vessels participating in escorting the shipping of Syrian chemical weapons, and extended festival greetings and best wishes to the officers and ratings of the two vessels, demonstrating the critical roles that China and Russia play in maintaining international and regional security. President Xi Jinping gave an exclusive interview to Russian television station, sending the message of friendly cooperation to the Russian people and picturing the promising future of China's reform and opening-up, which received extensive positive comments from all circles in Russia. In all, President Xi Jinping's visit precedes the development of the China-Russia relations in this year with a good start, and preludes the major diplomatic moves of this year. It marks as a grand opening with success and splendor.

Wang Yi said, the visit to Sochi has also manifested China's high attention and support to the international Olympics, and brought to the Chinese athletes the solicitude and greetings from the motherland. The Olympics is both a big arena for international sports competition and a grand stage for communication and exchanges among peoples from different countries and regions. In 2008, China successfully hosted the Beijing Summer Olympics, fulfilling the Olympic dream that the Chinese nation have been cherishing for a whole century. President Xi Jinping highly praises the Olympic spirit epitomized by solidarity, friendship and peace, attaches importance to the important role of the Olympics in social development, and emphasizes that the Chinese government has always pushed forward the development of China's sport cause from the strategic perspective of improving the quality of the whole nation, lifting up the national spirit, and realizing the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation. In order to commend the outstanding contribution of China and especially of President Xi Jinping to carry forward the Olympic spirit, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) specially awarded President Xi Jinping the Olympic Order in Gold last November.

Wang Yi said, Nanjing city of China will hold the 2nd Youth Olympics the coming August. Beijing and Zhangjiakou have proposed a bid for hosting the 2022 Winter Olympics. The year of 2022 will be a time when China strides toward its second "Centennial Goal", having realized the first "Centennial Goal". A successful bid for the Winter Olympics will pool stronger national self-confidence and start another dream-realizing journey of the Chinese nation. During his stay in Sochi, President Xi Jinping worked actively for China's bid for the Winter Olympics and gained positive support from all parties. President Xi Jinping stressed to IOC President Thomas Bach that, China will take the opportunity of bidding for the Winter Olympics to make the Chinese nation's new contribution to the Olympic movement and continue to march forward from a big sports country to a major sports power. Bach said that President Xi Jinping's attendance at the Sochi Winter Olympics shows China's support for the international Olympics, and spoke highly of China's achievements in the sports cause.

Wang Yi said that, the Chinese Spring Festival is a time for family reunions all over China. In Sochi, President Xi Jinping visited the Chinese Olympic athletes who were far away from the motherland and their families, conveyed greetings from the motherland to them, and encouraged them to carry out the Olympic values, promote the Chinese sports spirit, make unremitting efforts to improve themselves, strive for good results, display their good images and styles, and converge every individual's dream and the national dream of becoming a sports power into the great endeavor for realizing the Chinese Dream.

President Xi Jinping's sincere appreciation greatly inspired the athletes, and his incisive interpretation of the sports spirit enlightened them deeply. All the athletes said that, they will display their best athletic performance and high spirits to win honor and glory for the country and the people, and to contribute their youth and strength to realizing the dream of being a sports power and the Chinese Dream.

Wang Yi said, among the tight schedule, President Xi Jinping met respectively with presidents of the Czech Republic, Greece and Afghanistan, as well as the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon upon request. He also talked with over 40 state leaders and heads of international sports organizations on various occasions, which have promoted mutual understanding and friendly cooperation between China and related countries and international organizations.

To conclude, Wang Yi said that, since the 18th CPC National Congress, the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping as the General Secretary has put forward new diplomatic concepts, carried out new diplomatic practices and created a new diplomatic landscape on the basis of maintaining the consistency and stability of the fundamental diplomatic policies. President Xi Jinping began this year's diplomatic agenda with sports diplomacy, which assumes a novel form and embodies profound significance. The Olympic spirit of solidarity, friendship and peace are the common aspiration of the mankind and the goal of diplomacy China has been striving for. President Xi Jinping's visit to Sochi has brought closer the bilateral relations between China and Russia, enhanced the friendship between the two peoples, exhibited China's image as an open and confident major country, improved China's international influence, and once again highlighted the special and important roles that major and neighboring countries play in China's foreign relations. In the new year, we should actively frame and develop sound major-country relations with positive interactions, and bring the concepts of "affinity, sincerity, mutual benefit and inclusiveness" thoroughly into the practice of the relations with the neighbouring countries. We should uphold the right approach to morality and interests, and constantly deepen friendly cooperation with all the developing countries. We should strengthen economic diplomacy to serve well the comprehensive deepening of reforms inside China. We should take the opportunities of hosting the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia (CICA) and the Informal Leaders' Meeting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), and play our due role in these diplomatic occasions as the host country. We should stay committed to promoting public diplomacy, being a good story teller of China's success, and strengthen China's soft power. Looking into the future, amidst the changes of the international situation, China's diplomacy will unswervingly forge ahead in the right direction and advance with the times in a pioneering and innovative spirit, thus creating a better external environment and cooperation opportunities for our modernization endeavors and contributing more Chinese wisdom and strength to safeguard world peace and promote common development.

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