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Olympics bring China and West closer
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Chinese Ambassador to the United Kingdom Fu Ying said on Wednesday that China's relations with the West has been much improved through the Beijing Olympics and Paralympics.

Speaking at a reception celebrating the conclusion of Beijing Olympics and Paralympics, Fu said that, noticing the change of some Western journalists' attitude to the Games, she was confident "that China's relations with the world, especially with the West, has made a large step forward through the Olympics."

Fu said that she invited some British journalists to lunch in June in Beijing and they had lots of complaints, being asked what they felt about the Olympic Games.

"But towards the end of the Olympics, I found they were much more relaxed, much more confident about the Beijing success. And they are also able to transfer the message to the world."

The ambassador, who accompanied British Prime Minister Gordon Brown to Beijing for the Games, believed that the Olympics made the Chinese people know better of the world while the journalists coming to the Olympics also introduced China to the world.

"The Chinese public have seen the multiple culture of the world, diversity of the world and have engaged with westerners at a human level." she said.

"The Olympics also attracted 30,000 journalists into China, who have brought China to the world.

"I received lots of lots of letters from the British public after I came back (from Beijing). I sometimes read the letters deep into the night, being moved by their warmth towards the Beijing Games."

About the post-Games use of the Olympic venues, Fu joked that people never need to worry about empty space in China, which has a population of 1.3 billion.

"The Water Cube will become an aquatic park while the Bird's Nest is probably to be the home ground of Beijing Guoan football team."

British Olympic Association chairman Lord Moynihan and BOA chief executive Simon Clegg both expressed praises and gratitude to Beijing.

"We are in incredible depths of thanks to the BOCOG (Beijing Organizing Committee of the 29th Olympic Games), and to everybody who's organizing the Games," said Moynihan, who was still in hospital receiving a medical examination minutes before turning up at the reception.

"The facilities were second to none, the preparation was first-class, and above all, a lesson that we learned for the 2012 is to put athletes first.

"Thank you for giving that experience to the British athletes and to the athletes of the world. For us in London, we have a great amount to learn and we learned it from you. We came away learning a great deal, which is important for 2012."

Clegg echoed Moynihan by saying "Beijing was an incredible experience."

"But this chapter of the Olympic movement now closes and we move on to London. I have no doubt that the Olympic movement is a richer and a stronger place as a result to the Games of Beijing in 2008." he said.

(Xinhua News Agency September 18, 2008)

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