PM joins world leaders as Beijing Olympics starts
BEIJING: Prime Minister Imran Khan Friday joined the world leaders at Beijing’s National Stadium as the spectacular Beijing Winter Olympics 2022 kicked off here.
Also known as the Bird’s Nest stadium, the venue of the Olympics featured a show of ice-cool blue lasers as President Xi Jinping inaugurated the international sports event.
Prime Minister Imran Khan, who is also in Beijing, also attended the colorful event along with Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Information Minister Chaudhry Fawad Hussain, and Planning Minister Asad Umar.
According to media reports, around 3,000 athletes from 91 nations would compete across 109 medal events. The athletes paraded at the opening ceremony including Muhammad Karim who would represent Pakistan in Alpine Skiing.
Prime Minister Imran Khan and his delegation arose from their seats to join the spectators for welcoming Pakistan’s squad passing through the venue waving the national flag. Starting from February 4, the games would continue till February 20.
The athletes made their way into the stadium through a spectacular entrance which has been described as “Gate of China” and “Window of China.” The ‘Gate of China’ symbolizes that China opens its doors to welcome the world to the Olympic Winter Games.
Meanwhile, more leaders of foreign countries and international organizations have of late extended Spring Festival greetings to the Chinese people and conveyed their wish that the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics and Paralympics will be a complete success.
The goodwill was expressed in messages and letters sent to the General Secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and Chinese President Xi Jinping as well as through other means.
Russian President Vladimir Putin extended greetings to the Chinese people for the Spring Festival of the Year of the Tiger, saying that the upcoming Beijing Winter Olympics will be a major event of global significance.
Putin said he is convinced that China’s extensive experience in the excellent organization of representative international competitions will make it possible to hold this global festival of sports of the highest level.
Putin added that he is looking forward to visiting China and attending the opening ceremony of the Beijing Winter Olympics.
Kim Jong Un, top leader of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, said the Beijing Winter Olympics is an auspicious event for the CPC and the Chinese people in an important year in their pursuit of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation and their new journey towards the Second Centenary Goal.
The event also marks another great victory secured by China against the backdrop of an unprecedentedly severe pandemic, added Kim, general secretary of the Workers’ Party of Korea and chairman of the State Affairs Commission.
It demonstrates that no difficulty or challenge can prevent the Chinese people — rallied closely around the CPC Central Committee with Xi at its core — from courageously marching forward, he said.
The Beijing Winter Olympics, he added, is a festival to the people and athletes of all countries across the world aspiring after peace, friendship and solidarity.
He also expressed his confidence that it will certainly be a simple, safe and splendid Olympic event and write a brilliant page in the history of international sports.
The Olympics is a symbol of human solidarity, said Mongolian President Ukhnaa Khurelsukh, adding that he is confident that the Chinese government and people will overcome the impact of COVID-19, successfully host the Winter Olympics, and usher in the new year with fruitful results.
Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev expressed warm congratulations on the grand opening of the Beijing Winter Olympics, wishing China greater achievements and new victories on the path of realizing the Chinese Dream.
Expressing his sincere wish for the complete success of the Beijing Winter Olympics, First President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev said he believes that the grand gathering will become a major historic event that demonstrates China’s great potential.
Czech President Milos Zeman wished all Chinese people strength and courage in the new year and success in achieving all goals and wished the Beijing Winter Olympics, the world’s biggest upcoming sports event, a complete success.
Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi said he believes that the whole world will witness the success of the Beijing Winter Olympics. He also wished the Chinese people happiness, health and prosperity.
Extending his greetings to the Chinese people, Argentine President Alberto Fernandez said that as a global sports event, the Beijing Winter Olympics is of self-evident importance to the world and conducive to the development of winter sports and that he is honored to be part of it.
Other leaders extending greetings and wishes include Indonesian President Joko Widodo, Tajik President Emomali Rahmon, Maldivian President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, the Fourth King of Bhutan Jigme Singye Wangchuck, the Fifth King of Bhutan Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi, King Abdullah II of Jordan, Bahraini King Hamad bin Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa, Tunisian President Kais Saied, South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir Mayardit, Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud, Bahraini Crown Prince and Prime Minister Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Senegalese President Macky Sall, Comorian President Azali Assoumani, Seychellois President Wavel Ramkalawan, Gabonese President Ali Bongo Ondimba, President of the Central African Republic Faustin-Archange Touadera, Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo, Cote d’Ivoire’s President Alassane Ouattara, Ghanaian President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, Gambian President Adama Barrow, Sierra Leonean President Julius Maada Bio, Burundian President Evariste Ndayishimiye, Croatian President Zoran Milanovic, Bulgarian President Rumen Radev, Montenegrin President Milo Djukanovic, Serb Member of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) Milorad Dodik, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, Ecuadorian President Guillermo Lasso, President of the Commonwealth of Dominica Charles Savarin, Surinamese President Chandrikapersad Santokhi, Governor-General of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas Cornelius Smith, Antigua and Barbuda’s Governor-General Rodney Williams, Nepali Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley, Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of Dominica Roosevelt Skerrit, Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago Keith Rowley, Papua New Guinean Prime Minister James Marape, Prime Minister of the Cook Islands Mark Brown, Fiji’s Acting Prime Minister Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, Director-General of the World Trade Organization Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, President of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies Francesco Rocca. TF REPORT