The Asian Games begin in China

2023-09-23 18:24:43, Kosova & Bota CNA

The Asian Games begin in China

Chinese President Xi Jinping opened the 19th Asian Games in a colorful ceremony in Hangzhou on Saturday.

The Games will last for two weeks and will feature more athletes than the Olympics.

After their postponement from last year - due to the implementation of the zero cases of coronavirus policy - more than 12,000 competitors from 45 countries and territories will compete in 40 sports.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was seen among the guests for the opening of these Games.

This is the first time that Assad has visited China since the start of the civil war in Syria in 2011.

The president of the International Olympic Committee, Thomas Bach was among the guests.

Leaders from Cambodia, Kuwait and Nepal have been there as well.

"We can finally come together for the 19th Asian Games," said Raja Randhir Singh, acting president of the Olympic Council of Asia.

The symbol of this year's ceremony was water.

China's status as a sports and business destination has been hit hard since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, due to strict lockdowns and a blockade on international flights.

The new coronavirus was first reported in December 2019 in Wuhan, China.

The World Health Organization declared the coronavirus as a pandemic on March 11, 2020.

More than 6.9 million people have died since the outbreak of the pandemic worldwide.

The United States has recorded the highest number of victims, followed by India and Brazil./ REL

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