|Chinese senior leader joins national one-year countdown to Paralympics|
BEIJING, Sept. 6 (Xinhua) -- Senior Chinese leader Jia Qinglin attended the celebration of one-year countdown to 2008 Paralympics here on Thursday.
Jia, chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), unveiled the planned routes for the torch relay of the Paralympic Games together with Philip Craven, President of the International Paralympic Committee(IPC).
He said that the Chinese government has highlighted the work to help the handicapped people and made a lot of achievements in recovery, education, employment, social security, culture and sports for the handicapped people.
The handicapped people have shown their confidence and independence by comprehensively taking part in social activities and made outstanding contribution to the economic and social development, Jia said.
The Chinese handicapped athletes have challenged their limits to make splendid performance in sports events and meanwhile, the communication and cooperation between Chinese and international organizations for handicapped people have been enhanced, he said.
"We should create a social environment that everyone cares about handicapped people and supports their development, and further strengthen the communication and cooperation with the international community," he said.
China will host a high-quality Paralympics with Chinese characteristics to ensure that the athletes and guests from all over the world will enjoy warmth and friendship during their stay in Beijing, he said.
Liu Qi, president of the Beijing Organizing Committee for the 2008 Olympic Games (BOCOG), was also present together with Deng Pufang, president of the China Disabled Persons' Federation and BOCOG executive president.
The celebration activity was presided by Beijing mayor Wang Qishan, who is also BOCOG executive president.
The torch relay will start its journey on Aug. 28, 2008 and travel in three routes simultaneously. Future Paralympic Games host cities, London, Vancouver and Sochi, have been invited to participate in the relay. The three flames will merge in Beijing and then light the main flame tower at the Paralympic Games Opening Ceremony on Sept. 6, 2008.