Chinese President Xi Jinping and his wife, Peng Liyuan, host a banquet at the Great Hall of the People around noon on Saturday to welcome distinguished guests from around the world who attended the opening ceremony of the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games. [Photo/XINHUA]
The Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games that officially kicked off on Friday night are not only a sports gala, they also provide a venue for intensive diplomacy between Chinese and world leaders.
The long-needed face-to-face interactions injected a breath of fresh air and hope into today's world which is grappling with the COVID-19 pandemic and other formidable challenges.
The opening ceremony of the Games attracted more than 30 international dignitaries, including heads of state, heads of government, members of royal families and heads of international organizations. Their attendance underscores the wide global support for the Beijing Games as well as the general wish for greater unity to help the world through this difficult time.
President Xi Jinping and his wife Peng Liyuan hosted a banquet on Saturday noon to welcome distinguished guests from afar and expressed China's gratitude for their support. In his toast at the banquet, Xi stressed the importance of promoting the spirit of the Olympic Movement and building a community with a shared future for mankind.
Indeed, as Xi pointed out, since ancient times the Olympic Movement has carried humanity's aspirations for peace, solidarity and progress. With humanity facing such grave challenges as climate change and resurgent protectionism, the world badly needs the guidance of such clearheadedness.
It has to be pointed out that some Western countries, the United States in particular, have sought to use the sporting event as an opportunity to sow the seeds of difference, stoke confrontations and poison the atmosphere of international relations. Against such a backdrop, the joint statement issued by Xi and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin after their talks in Beijing on Friday provides a timely strategic guidance for countries around the world to navigate the complexities in international relations.
In their joint statement, China and Russia make clear their strong opposition to any attempts to abuse democratic values, to interfere in the internal affairs of sovereign states in the name of protecting democracy and human rights, and to stir up divisions and confrontation in the world.
Such a stance, expressed by two permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, will have a far-reaching impact on the global governance system and international relations.
It is no exaggeration to say that China and Russia have become key stabilizing forces in safeguarding global peace and security, justice and fairness.
With Xi meeting the visiting world leaders on the sidelines of the Games, it is to be hoped that as the sound of firecrackers bids the old year farewell, more countries will come together to welcome the new year with the "warmth of wine and the spring breeze" and the conviviality of friendship.