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Statement by Deputy Permanent Representative of China to the United Nations Ambassador Zhang Yishan at GA 59th Session on "International Year of Sport" (Agenda Item 47)
(26 October 2004)

Mr. President,

Sport serves as a bridge linking different nations, different civilizations, and different beliefs in the world. The contemporary Olympic Games have reinforced human pursuit for the spirit of peace, development and self-improvement. The Olympic concept of "higher, faster and stronger" has deeply rooted in the heart of world people and youth. This has been amply manifested by the successful 28th Olympic Games and 12th Paralympic Games in Athens this year. I would like to express our thanks to the Government and People of Greece for their contributions.

The United Nations, while engaging in promoting world peace and development, has done a great deal of work in publicizing and displaying the Olympic spirit. The UNGA session adopted a resolution last year, making 2005 "International Year of Sport". We hope that the international community will take advantage of this opportune moment, adhere to the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, promote peace and development through sport, advocate dialogue and exchange among different civilizations, and strive for building a world of peace and prosperity.

Mr. President,

The Chinese Government attaches importance to the development of sport cause. Our fundamental goal is to build up people's health and improve national physiques. Since 1995 when the Chinese Government promulgated the "Program of Building Up National Health", China has witnessed a series of marked achievements in its sport undertakings. The public awareness of better health is comprehensively raised, mass sport activities are mushrooming, and physical education is a major course at primary, secondary and tertiary educational levels. During this year's Olympic Games in Athens, the Chinese team won 32 gold medals, making a historical record. And at the following 12th Paralympics, the Chinese team ranked first in terms of gold medals and total number of medals. Chinese athletes have added a remarkable page to the Olympic annuls at its birthplace, sharing Olympic glory and dream with world Olympic lovers.

Mr. President,

In 2008, China will host the 29th Olympic Games and the 13th Paralympic Games in Beijing. The Chinese Government and people are working whole-heartedly and doing everything they can for the various preparations. The construction of relevant stadiums and facilities and preparations for bioenvironmental, social and urban infrastructure development are all underway in an orderly manner. We will continue to work with IOC and other governments to further display the Olympic spirit and try our utmost to make Beijing Olympic Games a wonderful occasion of maintaining peace, promoting development, enhancing exchange among different civilizations and strengthening friendship among people of all countries.

Thank you, Mr. President.

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