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Speech of Wang Chen at opening ceremony
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As you all know, China is hosting two great international events recently. One is the forthcoming 29th Olympic Games in Beijing and the other is the 18th World Congress of the International Federation of Translators (FIT) inaugurated today here in Shanghai. It is the first time for the FIT World Congress to be convened in China, as well as in Asia. I, on behalf of the Local Organizing Committee of the 18th FIT World Congress, extend a warm welcome and cordial respect to the representatives from at home and abroad to the Congress.

Human history is a process of the fusion and development of various civilizations. As a communication bridge beyond language, race and culture, translation has played a key role in fostering the development of human civilization and social progress. For China, translation activities are unique and indispensible in facilitating the interaction and blending between Chinese civilization and the civilizations of the rest of the world, enhancing mutual understanding and contacts between the Chinese people and peoples of other countries, and advancing world peace and harmonious development. The value of translation work and the efforts made by translators should be better recognized and respected by the international community.

The Congress theme "Translation and Cultural Diversity" fully demonstrates the concern and expectations of international translation circles for safeguarding cultural diversity and expediting the development of human civilization. The theme also expresses our long-cherished hope to reinforce the work of translation and multicultural communication, and thereby publicize China's pursuit of the ideal of peaceful development and world harmony.

China is honored to host the 18th FIT World Congress, enabling friends from all over the world to have an intimate experience of Chinese culture and get to know more about contemporary China, and enhancing mutual learning and exchanges among translators worldwide. This is the epitome of the Congress theme.

The 29th Olympic Games will open in Beijing in four days' time. The 2010 World Exposition will be held in Shanghai one year and nine months from now. Today's open China keenly desires to communicate with the rest of the world, and a diversified world needs translation for communication. It is our hope that all our friends around the world committed to the task of translation will make more and new contributions to world peace and harmony.

Finally, let me wish you a wonderful time in Shanghai and in China.

May the 18th FIT World Congress be a great success!

Wang Chen is Minister of the State Council Information Office, and also Chairman of the Local Organizing Committee of the 18th FIT World Congress.

(China.org.cn August 4, 2008)

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