PNG PM says Beijing Winter Olympics send positive message

Updated: February 4, 2022 Source: Xinhua News Agency
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SYDNEY, Feb. 3 (Xinhua) -- China's hosting of the Winter Olympics sends a positive message that the world must remain united for the global common good through sports, said James Marape, the prime minister of Papua New Guinea (PNG).

Marape departed on Thursday for the opening ceremony of the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games.

In a recent written interview, the prime minister told Xinhua that he views the Games positively, and expects sportsmen and women to "unite the world as one planet and one people."

"Their participation and China's successful hosting will send a positive message to the next host that any global event such as this can be staged, regardless of the COVID-19 pandemic," Marape said.

Sports are an important tool "whereby we can cultivate and further promote people-to-people relations," which transcend skin colors, ethnicities, cultures and religions, Marape said.

He noted that Ryan Pini, a renowned PNG swimmer who once competed in the Beijing 2008 Summer Olympics, remains a great inspiration for Papua New Guineans.

To date, Marape pointed out, PNG and China have cooperated in developing sports infrastructure.

Marape said he looks forward to enhancing PNG-China relations during his Beijing tour, especially in attracting more investment from Chinese companies to add value to PNG's vast natural resources.

He also hopes to work with the Chinese side to study the feasibility of a free trade agreement.

Editor: Duan Jing