- Title: CHINA: ATHLETICS - China's Hu meets Iranian President ahead of opening ceremony
- Date: 7th September 2008
- Summary: (BN05) BEIJING, CHINA (SEPTEMBER 6, 2008) (REUTERS) CHINESE PRESIDENT HU JINTAO AND WIFE WAITING TO GREET VISITING DIGNITARIES AT GREAT HALL OF THE PEOPLE GUESTS WAITING TO BE GREETED HU JINTAO SHAKING HANDS WITH PRESIDENT OF INTERNATIONAL OLYMPIC COMMITTEE'S (IOC) COORDINATION COMMISSION FOR THE 2008 OLYMPICS HEIN VERBRUGGEN HU SHAKING HANDS WITH PHILIP CRAVEN, PRESIDENT OF THE INTERNATIONAL PARALYMPIC COMMITTEE HU AND WIFE SHAKING HANDS WITH PHILIP CRAVEN AND WIFE GUESTS WAITING TO BE GREETED PHILIP CRAVEN POSING FOR PHOTOGRAPHS HU AND WIFE POSE FOR PHOTOGRAPHS WITH PHILIP CRAVEN AND WIFE HU AND DIGNITARIES IN BANQUET HALL (SOUNDBITE) (Mandarin) CHINESE PRESIDENT HU JINTAO, SAYING: "We will use the Beijing Paralympic Games as an opportunity to further promote the humanitarian spirit, devote ourselves to safeguarding the rights and interests of disabled people, and make sure all the disabled people are able to participate in social life with equal opportunities and to share the benefits of economic and social development." GUESTS LISTENING HU PROPOSING TOAST GUESTS TOASTING
- Embargoed: 22nd September 2008 13:00
- Location: China
- Country: China
- Topics: International Relations,Sports
- Reuters ID: LVAAMLNRT8Z98BFFYE4AL71BBJFU
- Story Text: Chinese President Hu Jintao meets visiting Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who is in Beijing to attend the Paralympic Games' opening ceremony.
Chinese President Hu Jintao met visiting Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Saturday (September 6), who is in Beijing to attend the Paralympic Games' opening ceremony scheduled for the evening.
The Iranian President had hoped to use the opportunity to "discuss bilateral, regional and international issues of mutual interest" with his Chinese counterpart, China's official Xinhua news agency reported.
Western powers have been accusing Iran of seeking the atomic bomb under the cover of a civilian nuclear programme but Tehran denies the charge, insisting it only wants to master atomic technology in order to generate electricity.
As a big oil customer of Iran and veto-wielding permanent member of the U.N. Security Council, China has become a focus of diplomatic efforts to overcome the Iranian nuclear stand-off. But Beijing has been reluctant to consider steps that would threaten its energy dependence and economic ties with Tehran.
This year female athletes from Iran with physical disabilities will compete in the games for the first time. They will participate in track and field, shooting and table tennis.
Ahmadinejad arrived in the Chinese capital Saturday morning.
Earlier on Saturday, Chinese President Hu Jintao held a lunch reception for visiting dignitaries in the Great Hall of the People.
Over 80 guests from all over the world, including Hein Verbruggen, president of the International Olympic Committee's (IOC) Coordination Commission for the 2008 Olympics and president of the International Paralympic Committee Philip Craven, were present at the banquet.
Beijing has pledged to stage "equally splendid" Paralympic Games after it basked in the glory of successfully hosting the 2008 Olympic Games and dominating the medal table with 51 golds.
Chinese President Hu Jintao said in a welcome speech at the banquet that China would use the Games as an opportunity to improve the living standards of disabled people.
"We will use the Beijing Paralympic Games as an opportunity to further promote the humanitarian spirit, devote ourselves to safeguarding the rights and interests of people with disabilities, and make sure all of them are able to participate in social life with equal opportunities and to share the benefits of economic and social development," said Hu.
There are nearly one million registered disabled people living in the Chinese capital with another estimated 81 million, roughly the population of Germany, in the rest of the country.
The Paralympics will be held in Beijing from September 6 to 17, and more than 4,000 athletes from over 100 countries will compete in the Games.
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