Hangzhou Asian Games a big day for the whole of Asia: Global Times editorial

HANGZHOU, China, Sept. 25, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — The opening ceremony of the 19th Asian Games will be held in Hangzhou, China on Saturday evening. Chinese President Xi Jinping will attend the opening ceremony and declare the opening of the games. This is a big day for the whole of Asia. More than 12,000 athletes from 45 countries and regions across the continent are participating. It is the largest and most comprehensive Asian Games in history. First of all, it is a sports event in Asia with global influence. Athletes from various countries and regions in Asia fight hard on the field and compete with their best skill and spirit. It is not just a sports event. When the international situation is complex and tense, Asia cannot be an exception. The successful hosting of the Asian Games has made the world generally feel the appeal of unity and friendship, which has positive significance for the entire Asia and even the world.

Chinese people generally have special emotions and memories about the Asian Games. The three Asian Games represent the three important junctures for China as it embraced the world. The 1990 Beijing Asian Games was the first comprehensive international large-scale sports event held by China. It greatly inspired the patriotism and pride of Chinese society. Chinese people who experienced that era still remember it vividly. Twenty years later, at the 2010 Guangzhou Asian Games, the world marveled at a highly open Guangzhou and China’s economic miracle. Today’s Hangzhou Asian Games fully demonstrates the maturity and steadiness of a big country in the concept of “green,” “intelligent,” “frugal,” and “civilized.” This is a manifestation of China’s responsibility as a major country.

No one will doubt the level of organization and the splendor of the Hangzhou Asian Games. Last month, Chengdu successfully hosted the 31st Summer World University Games. Last year, Beijing successfully hosted the Winter Olympics. Before that, there was the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics. The international sports events hosted by China at different times and in different cities have different local characteristics and flavor of the times. They show different levels of splendor, but leave the same deep impression on the world. “China-held” international sports events have become a well-known brand. It provides the best competition venues and environment for athletes from all over the world, and has left many scenes and records for the world that will be engraved in history.

This can also be seen as a new moment of unity in Asia. It brings together members of the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) and elevates the sense of Asian consciousness and unity to new heights. Unlike the Olympic Games, the Asian Games have carried the significance of Asian nations’ sovereign independence and unity since the inception. Beyond competitive sports, they serve as a spiritual vessel for the most populous, vast, and diverse continent in the world to come together and move forward.

As a bridge for communication, reconciliation, and friendship, the Asian Games not only showcase the strength of the athletes but also provide strength for unity and cooperation in Asia and the world. This spirit and strength have been consistently supported by China and are worthy of collective appreciation by all.

In recent years, through the collective efforts of various countries and regions in Asia, the continent has achieved remarkable success in terms of peace and development. It cannot be denied that today, the overall environment for cooperation and development in Asia is facing unprecedented challenges. Under the incitement of external forces, there have been both evident and potential rifts within Asia, with signs of differentiation and division becoming increasingly pronounced. The looming shadow of a “new cold war” adds to the complexity.

Asia is currently at a crossroads and a pivotal moment in its history. The choices made now will determine the destiny of Asia in the future. The Asian Games, on its sporting stage, actually points to a promising path for Asia, which is one of striving for progress and unity in collaboration.

As the opening of the Asian Games approaches, many Chinese people once again sing the song “Asian Treasures” from 1990 when China hosted the Asian Games for the first time. “In our Asia, mountains are our heads high.” The powerful lyrics and melody of “Asian Treasures” resonate strongly, providing a vivid and powerful summary of that era in Asia and an accurate vision of the future of Asia. The impact of the “Four Asian Tigers” and the “Four Asian Dragons” and the rapid development of China’s economy truly exemplified the sentiment of “Asian Treasures.”

While enjoying the exciting events at the Hangzhou Asian Games, let us also rekindle the courage and enthusiasm of the “Asian Treasures,” allowing the spirit and influence of Asia to continue to resonate across the continent.



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