(CTN NEWS) – Chinese President Xi Jinping is set to host a significant gathering of world leaders in China this week during the opening of the World University Games in Chengdu.
Among those attending, President Xi will welcome his Indonesian counterpart, Joko Widodo, along with at least seven other esteemed guests.
The Chinese foreign ministry has announced that President Xi will host welcoming banquets and engage in “related bilateral events” with the visiting dignitaries.
The distinguished guests also include the presidents of Mauritania, Burundi, and Guyana, as well as the prime ministers of Georgia and Fiji.
This event promises to foster meaningful interactions and strengthen diplomatic ties between China and these nations.
Chengdu World University Games: A Long-Awaited Event Amid Stringent Security Measures and Diplomatic Engagement
Originally planned for 2021 under the name Universiade, the World University Games suffered two postponements due to the pandemic.
However, the much-anticipated event is finally set to commence on Friday and will continue until August 8, still officially designated as Chengdu 2021.
The games will be held under stringent security measures, and the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) has recently initiated a 20-day “special action” to regulate online information related to the event.
The CAC aims to target “one-sided and distorted” information, malicious speculation involving university students, discriminatory content, content inciting group antagonism, and any fictitious portrayal of local poverty.
In preparation for the event, Chen Wenqing, the Communist Party’s security chief, paid a visit to Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province, last month.
During his visit, he emphasized the importance of enhancing internal security measures and fostering collaboration with neighboring provinces.
Many of the foreign leaders attending the games will have the opportunity to meet President Xi face to face for the first time since the start of the pandemic.
This gathering offers a significant platform for diplomatic engagement and dialogue amid these challenging times.
World University Games 2023: Notable Meetings, Absentees, and Controversies
Nevertheless, it is worth noting that Mauritanian President Mohamed Ould Ghazouani had the opportunity to meet President Xi Jinping in December during the China-Arab states summit held in Saudi Arabia.
Similarly, Indonesian President Joko Widodo visited Beijing last year, making him one of the few world leaders to visit China during a time when strict pandemic restrictions were still in effect.
A total of 89 countries and regions are participating in the event by sending their teams, demonstrating widespread international involvement.
However, there are notable absences among the participants. New Zealand and Canada withdrew from the event last year due to concerns related to the pandemic, following the initial postponement.
Additionally, this year, both Britain and Mexico decided not to participate, citing financial considerations as the reason for their withdrawal.
The United States has made the decision not to send a swimming team to the event. According to a spokesperson, the US will only send a delegation if they believe that the event’s locations offer the best opportunities for their athletes.
In addition, the International University Sports Federation, the governing body of the event, has taken a stance against Russia and Belarus.
Both countries have been banned from participating in the games as a consequence of their involvement in the invasion of Ukraine.
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