President Xi Jinping will attend the Asian Games opening ceremony in host city Hangzhou and meet Syrian President Bashar al-Assad along with other visiting leaders there, state media said on Thursday.
President Xi "will attend the opening ceremony of the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou from September 22 to 23, and hold a welcome banquet and bilateral activities for foreign leaders visiting China", broadcaster CCTV said.
Foreign guests in attendance will include Assad – on his first visit to China since war erupted in Syria in 2011 – as well as leaders from Cambodia, Kuwait, and Nepal, among others, CCTV said.
The biggest Asian Games in history, boasting about 12,000 competitors – more than the Olympics – will open on Saturday in Hangzhou after a year's delay because of Covid.
Athletes, including world and Olympic champions will fight for medals in 40 sports from athletics, swimming and football to eSports and bridge.
Nine sports, among them boxing, break dancing and tennis, will serve as qualifiers for next year's Paris Olympics.
The 19th edition of the Games, which were first held in New Delhi in 1951, throws together competitors from 45 countries and territories across Asia and the Middle East. (AFP)
Last updated: 2023-09-21 HKT 12:16
Xi to attend Asian Games opening
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