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Xi Jinping Meets with International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach and Receives the Olympic Order in Gold

On Nov. 19, 2013, President Xi Jinping met with International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach at the Great Hall of the People, and received the Olympic Order in Gold.

Xi Jinping spoke highly of the active role of the IOC in developing sports and promoting the cause of world peace and development. Xi pointed out that sports can not only improve the level of people's health, but also promote the mutual understanding and friendship among people from different countries. The Olympic Spirit of unity, friendship, and peace is deeply rooted in China. At the beginning of the reform and opening up, the Chinese women's volleyball team fought tenaciously, and won honors for China by winning the world championships. We still need to inherit and carry forward this spirit in the process of development in the future.

Xi Jinping stressed that the Chinese government attaches great importance to the sports development and the important role of the Olympic Movement in social development from the strategic perspective of building a well-off society in an all-around way and realizing the Chinese dream of great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation. In recent years, we have successfully held the Beijing Olympic Games, the Paralympic Games, the Guangzhou Asian Games and other international comprehensive sports games, as well as the IOC World Conference on Sport for All, and other big international sports events. We will follow the spirit of the Third Plenary Session of the 18th CPC Central Committee, strive to improve people's health, make synchronous development of mass sports and competitive sports, making China shift from a big sports country to a powerful sports country.

Xi Jinping said that the second Youth Olympic Games will be held in Nanjing, China, in August next year. At present, various preparations are orderly under way. We will earnestly fulfill our commitment, and make the event a success under the guidance of the IOC. China's Beijing city and Zhangjiakou city have already bid for the 2022 Winter Olympics. China hopes to take this as an opportunity to promote the Olympics and winter sports.

Thomas Bach thanked the Chinese government's support for the international Olympic Movement. He said that China has made a significant contribution to the development of the world's sports. The Beijing Olympic Games has achieved a huge success, leaving the world a valuable asset. My choice of China as the first stop of my first overseas visit after taking office is to show that the IOC hopes to strengthen cooperation with China. The IOC thanks China's Nanjing for holding the Youth Olympic Games, is satisfied with the preparatory work, and believes that the Youth Olympic Games will be a success in Nanjing. I wish good luck to China's bid for hosting the Olympic Winter Games.

Afterwards, on behalf of the IOC, Thomas Bach awarded the Olympic Order in Gold to Xi Jinping to commend Xi's outstanding contributions to promoting the cause of world sports and the Olympic Spirit. Xi thanked the IOC's support to the development of China's Olympic Movement for many years, and said that the Chinese government will, as always, support the development of the Olympic Movement, and strive to make greater contributions to the world's Olympic Movement.

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