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What Can Sydney Tell Beijing?
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"What can Sydney tell Beijing?" was Henry's opening question when he spoke at Tsinghua University on Tuesday. Henry is a law school student from Australian National University keen to share the experience of the Sydney Olympic Games with Beijing.

Beijing needs to take full account of environmental protection, public transport, clean and green energy and racial integration, which were crucial for the Sydney Olympic Games, Henry said.

Henry is the captain of the football team of a 46-member Australian youth delegation which started a visit to China on Monday. Their week-long trip will take them to southern China's cities of Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Hong Kong, giving them the chance to talk to Chinese young people, sightsee and play football.

"An Olympic Games won't succeed without a team of well-trained volunteers and high-standard voluntary services," said Fiona Lawrie from the University of Melbourne after a full discussion with Tsinghua partners.

"Volunteers promote the Olympic spirit and the volunteer spirit, and embody the concept of the People's Olympics," David Parker said.

"We are guests of the Chinese Premier." Henry told Xinhua proudly. The twenty-three year-old, who is half-Australian and half-Chinese, always tries to speak in Chinese. He has a strong Taiwanese accent because his mother is from China's Taiwan province.

During his official visit to Australia in April as guest of Prime Minister John Howard, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao invited 100 Australian young people to visit China. Wen also called for more exchanges of personnel, and closer cooperation between Beijing and Sydney in the run-up to the 2008 Olympic Games.

Another group from Australia will visit China next year. These are the biggest youth exchanges between the two countries since they established diplomatic ties in 1972, according to the All-China Youth Federation.

"We brought a strong team that know good Chinese and wish to develop sincere relationships and build life-long links with China," said Gregory Andrew Hunt, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment and Heritage, who heads the delegation.

"The Australian-Sino youth exchanges are a means for the two countries to further relations, and we hope there will be many more." Hunt said.

(Xinhua News Agency September 27, 2006)


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