Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and leaders from 11 other countries arrived in Beijing on Wednesday, with the Olympics opening only two days away.
They were greeted by Chinese government representatives at the Beijing Capital International Airport.
Airport officers and security personnel, staff from the Foreign Affairs Ministry and officers from the guests' embassies were busy with receiving arrangements all day.
Arriving on Wednesday were Brazilian President Lula, Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko, Tonga's Crown Prince Tupouto'a Lavaka Ata, Montenegro's President Filip Vujanovic, Timor-Leste's President Jose Ramos-Horta, Micronesian President Emanuel Mori, Serbian President Boris Tadic, San Marino's Captains regents Rosa Zafferani and Federico Pedini Amati, Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse, the Head of State of Samoa Tuiatua Tupua Tamasese Efi, Laotian President Choummaly Sayasone and Fiji's interim Prime Minister, Frank Bainimarama.
As of Wednesday, Beijing had received guests from 18 countries for the upcoming sports pageant.
According to Ministry of Foreign Affairs sources, U.S. President George W. Bush, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and 50 other international guests will arrive on Thursday, the most during the one-week countdown to the Games.
Another 11 leaders including French President Nicolas Sarkozy, Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda and the President of the Republic of Korea, Lee Myung-bak, will arrive on Friday to attend the opening ceremony of the Games, which is scheduled to start at 8:08 p.m.
More than 80 state leaders and royals are expected to attend the opening of the Games and related events.
(Xinhua News Agency August 7, 2008)