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All countries called to join Beijing Olympics
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British Foreign Secretary David Miliband on Wednesday voiced his opposition to calls for a boycott of the Beijing Olympic Games and called for all countries to participate.

"I don't think the boycott of the games is a good idea. All countries should be here to compete," Miliband said during a visit to the National Aquatic Center, known as the Water Cube, the Olympic pool venue.

"Political issues are unjust issues in the Olympic year. They should be issues we talk about every year," he said.

The Olympics should be "a symbol of bringing countries and peoples together in an open, competitive way".

Calling the Water Cube, the world's largest indoor swimming center, "a good manifestation of modern China" and "an example of China-UK cooperation".

Learning that the Water Cube's energy-efficient design meant artificial light is unnecessary in the daytime, he said the design reflected "harmony with nature", and hoped it would inspire British swimmers and divers to gain medals.

Miliband said he hoped London, which will host the Olympics in 2012, could learn more from Beijing's experience.

"London was drawing experience from Beijing and the teams were working closely with their Chinese colleagues," he said.

Miliband started his six-day official visit to China on Sunday. He arrived in Beijing on Wednesday afternoon, after visiting Hong Kong, Shanghai and Chongqing.

(Xinhua News Agency February 28, 2008)

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