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Beijing Olympics also grand for China's diplomacy
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They all came for the big event -- Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.

They included heads of state, government leaders and royal dignitaries,from more than 100 countries across the world.

In addition to meeting with Chinese leaders, the VIPs also had friendly communication with the Chinese people.

They came to watch the Games and cheer for the athletes of their own compatriot or those from other countries.

On August 8, Chinese President Hu Jintao hosted a welcome banquet for honorable foreign guests at the Great Hall of the People. The banquet set a new record in China's diplomatic history with its high level and the number of participants.

On the sidelines of the smooth sports events, the leadership of the Communist Party of China and the Chinese government held more than 100 meetings with leaders from other countries, thanking them for their support for the Games and exchanging views on international and regional issues with common concern.

The Beijing Games, which closed on Sunday, have impressed the world a lot.

"These were truly exceptional Games," said International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge at the closing ceremony at the National Stadium.

Rogge also expressed thanks to the people of China.

Leaders of other nations also spoke highly of the grand event.

US President George W. Bush Bush hailed the Games' opening as "spectacular and successful". He attended the opening ceremony and watched a match between Yao Ming-led China and the NBA-laden Team USA in men's basketball.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Vladimirovic Putin and French President Nicolas Sarkozy praised the Games for bringing great pleasure to worldwide sports lovers and appreciated the great efforts that the Chinese people had done for the Games.

Many countries, such as Mongolia, Afghanistan and Panama, achieved breakthroughs at the Beijing Games in gold or other medals in their Olympic history.

When meeting with Chinese President Hu Jintao, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said Beijing had "set a new standard" that London would "seek to follow".

Britain is willing to refer to China's successful experience in hosting the Games as well as in sports where China enjoys advantage, in an effort to host a high-level sports rally in London in 2012.

Brown hoped British athletes could learn from their Chinese counterparts in diving, table tennis and badminton and win more medals at the London Olympics.

China is ready to share its own experience in this regard with Britain, duly implement the cooperation plans relating to the 2012 London Games and make it a new highlight in Sino-British cooperation, President Hu said.

(Xinhua News Agency August 25, 2008)

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