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    Focus on Asia-China sports cooperation

    James Kon

    “The 19th Asian Games was originally scheduled to be held in Hangzhou in September this year, but was postponed to next September due to the pandemic. The Asian Games is a grand sports event for all Asian people, in which the Chinese people will warmly welcome athletes from various Asian countries to gather in Hangzhou to experience the joy that sports bring to everyone.”

    Ambassador of China to Brunei Darussalam Yu Hong said this during the awarding and exhibition launching ceremony at OneCity Shopping Centre, before outlining the three reasons behind choosing the 19th Asian Games theme for the colouring contest.

    Yu Hong explained, “The first is about China. This is the third time China holds the Asian Games. In 1990, China hosted the 11th Asian Games in Beijing for the first time. It was also the first time for China to hold a major sports event, just under the background that China started to embark on its historical process of reform and opening-up.

    ‘The Mighty Wind of Asia’ anthem of the Games became not only an unforgettable memory for that generation of Chinese, but also popular among other Asians. In 2010, China held the 16th Asian Games in Guangzhou, which had the largest number of competition events in history.”

    The ambassador said, the second is about Asia.

    “Not long ago, we witnessed the ‘Asia Moment’. ASEAN member nations Cambodia, Indonesia and Thailand hosted the ASEAN related summits, the G20 Leaders’ Summit and the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting (AELM) successively. These three important international meetings fully demonstrated Asia’s crucial role in today’s world,” she said.

    Ambassador of China to Brunei Darussalam Yu Hong delivers her speech. PHOTO: JAMES KON

    “His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam and Chinese President Xi Jinping held a bilateral meeting during the AELM, speaking highly of the sound development momentum, and chanted the direction for the future development of bilateral relations. China is ready to make joint efforts with Brunei to promote the development of cooperation in various fields, promote the continuous progress of China-ASEAN relations and jointly safeguard the peace, development and stability of the region.

    The last reason is about sports, she said, adding that, “The traditional friendship between China and Brunei is profound, and the cooperation between the two sides has a good foundation with public support and practical needs.

    “Sports cooperation has always been a highlight of China-Brunei people-to-people and cultural exchanges. The Chinese coaches have been helping to promote the development of Brunei’s national wushu team for over 10 years.

    “With their efforts, Brunei’s wushu athletes excelled at international competitions, bringing glory to the Sultanate by winning gold and silver medals in the Southeast Asian Games and the world games.

    “The Chinese coaches were conferred the Meritorious Service Medal (PJK) in recognition of their unremitting efforts, and I am very proud of them. A Chinese swimming coach also came to serve at the Brunei’s national swimming team and helped improve the performance of the team, which won a gold medal for Brunei for the first time in the swimming competition in Australia and a silver medal in Malaysia.

    “As the sister city of Bandar Seri Begawan, Chinese city Nanjing has sent teams to participate in the Brunei Regatta for many years, which has enhanced the friendship between the two peoples.

    “The children are the future of a nation, and the world’s future belongs to them. I hope that all children will bear in their hearts great dreams, use sportsmanship to inspire themselves, strive to make the best out of themselves in the days to come, and contribute to the development of the country as well as support the friendship between China and Brunei Darussalam.”

    Permanent Secretary (Core Education) at the Ministry of Education Dr Shamsiah Zuraini Kanchanawati binti Haji Tajuddin was the guest of honour.

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