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Opening ceremony of 26th Summer Universiade starts in Shenzhen
2011/08/13

Chinese President Hu Jintao on Friday expressed the confidence that the Shenzhen Summer Universiade will become a unique and high-standard sporting event.

Hu made the remark in a speech at a welcoming luncheon that he held for distinguished guests to attend the opening ceremony of the 26th Summer Universiade in Shenzhen.

Noting that the grand opening of the 26th Summer Universiade is to be held in Shenzhen this evening, Hu extended a very warm welcome to all the distinguished guests.

Among the guests are Mozambican President Armando Emilio Guebuza, Bolivian President Juan Evo Morales Ayma, Fijian President Epeli Nailatikau, Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse, Ethiopia Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, Romania Prime Minister Emil Boc, UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova, incumbent FISU President George Gillian and newly elected FISU President Claude-Louis Gallien.

Hu said since its birth in 1959, the Universiade has been guided by the principle of developing university sports and promoting unity and cooperation across the world. Hu said the Universiade has served as a bridge that brings young people in the world together to deepen their mutual understanding and friendship, thus giving a strong boost to the cause of international youth sports.

Hu said over the past 50 years and more, university students from different countries, ethnic groups and religious backgrounds have forged a bond of friendship through exchanges and interactions at the Universiade.

Hu said at the Universiade, diverse cultures mingle, the seed of friendship is sown and the spirit of cooperation is fostered.

"This is where the appeal of the Universiade lies, and this is what the Universiade is all about," Hu said.

Hu said China's youngest metropolitan city of Shenzhen is full of vitality and an important window for the outside world to learn about contemporary China.

Some 12,000 athletes and officials are to attend the 2011 Summer Universiade from August 12 to 23. China has sent 505 athletes to participate in the Universiade. The Chinese athletes are from 110 institutes of higher learning around China.

According to the organizing committee of the games, the Shenzhen Univesiade is expected to draw two million spectators, while two billion people around the globe will see it on TV and through other media.

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