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Foreign leaders praise China for successful Olympics opening



    Foreign leaders who are in Beijing for the Olympic Games have heaped praise on the successful opening ceremony and China's efforts for hosting good Games, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said on Sunday while recalling "who said what" over the weekend.

    United States President George W. Bush described the grand opening ceremony as "spectacular" during a meeting with his Chinese counterpart Hu Jintao on Sunday.

    Bush said he has "fully enjoyed" the Games, and thanked the Chinese side for its considerate arrangements of various activities for himself and his family during their stay in Beijing.

    French President Nicolas Sarkozy said he admires the Chinese people for their efforts and contribution to the Games organization.

    Japanese Prime Minister Fukuda Yasuo said the Games are a grand sports rally as well as a hard-won opportunity for all the world's countries to enhance understanding and mutual trust.

    The opening ceremony on Friday night by China's internationally acknowledged film director Zhang Yimou, used new technologies to bring icons of Chinese culture and the Olympiad to life.

    Many foreign leaders and dignitaries particularly found the cauldron lighting impressive. The cauldron was lit by China's gymnastics legend Li Ning after "space-walking" around the top of the 91,000-seat National Stadium.

    "It's very well organized and displays China's traditional culture as well as high technologies," said President of the Republic of Korea Lee Myung bak. "As an Asian, I'm proud of the success of the opening ceremony."

    President of Afghanistan Hamid Karzai said the Olympic preparations and all the good facilities demonstrate China's tremendous capability and he trusts the Beijing Games will be one of the most successful in Olympic history.

    Beijing's achievements in hosting the Games have inspired the Brazilians, who are applying to host the 2016 Games in Rio De Janeiro, said Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

    A better China will bring about a better world, and will benefit mankind as a whole, said Israeli President Shimon Peres. He said he was impressed by Beijing's preparations for the Olympic Games, "an unprecedented effort in world history".

    More than 80 heads of state and government and royals attended the Beijing Olympics opening ceremony.

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