Displayed with permission from China Daily
President Xi Jinping sent a congratulatory letter to the 2017 BRICS Games, which opened in Guangzhou on Saturday. The opening of the first BRICS Games marked an important consensus reached by the BRICS leaders at the Goa Summit in 2016.
While noting that each BRICS member country has its own distinct strengths in sports, Xi said he believes that the BRICS Games will provide a unique opportunity to improve performance, popularise traditional sports, promote sports development and enhance friendship among peoples.
“I hope athletes on all sides will display true sportsmanship and excel in the Games,” the president said in the letter.
The BRICS Games feature the five BRICS member countries – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – competing in 10 events in three sports: men’s basketball, women’s volleyball and wushu, Chinese martial arts.
The 2017 BRICS Games, seen as a prelude to the 2017 BRICS Summit to be held in Xiamen in September, give a clear indication that economic and sporting development are closely linked.
Xi said that the Xiamen Summit is expected as an opportunity to make new advances in cultural and the people-to-people exchanges and cooperation, which in turn will help cement public support for BRICS cooperation.
On Monday, Xi also commented that the BRICS cooperation will be more productive and usher in a new “golden decade.”
Xi made the remarks when meeting with the heads of delegations from Brazil, Russia, India and South Africa who are in Beijing to attend the BRICS foreign ministers’ meeting.
The BRICS cooperation mechanism has been in existence for ten years and BRICS members have focused on development, which not only benefits the people in the five countries but also offers a recipe for the world to address food and security problems, Xi said.
“BRICS countries are a community of shared interests and future,” Xi said, urging the countries to give full play to the win-win spirit and jointly contribute to the development of the organisation.