The first group of foreign dignitaries attending the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics arrived in the Chinese capital on Thursday.
Princess Haya of Jordan, the wife of the vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates, was one of the first foreign dignitaries to arrive in Beijing. Princess Haya is the president of the International equestrian federation and is a member of the International Olympic Committee. IOC President Jacques Rogge, and his predecessor, Juan Antonio Samaranch, also arrived in Beijing on Thursday.
The number of foreign dignitaries attending the opening ceremony is expected to exceed previous Olympic Games. US President George W. Bush, Russian Prime Minister Vladmir Putin and French President Nicolas Sarkozy will attend. They will also hold bilateral talks with Chinese leaders during their stay in Beijing. August 7th is expected to be the peak day for the arrival of international VIP guests.
More than 80 foreign political leaders and senior government officials are expected at the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics. And China is proud to host what could be the biggest presence of foreign dignitaries in the history of the Games.
(CCTV August 1, 2008)