|Hu Jintao Receives a Group Interview with Foreign Journalists|
On August 1, 2008, Chinese President Hu Jintao received a group interview with journalists from 25 international media organizations in the Great Hall of the People, answering their questions on the preparations for and hosting of the Beijing Olympic Games, the influence of the Olympics on China and the current economic and social development situation in the country.
Hu first of all noted that the 29th summer Olympic Games would open in Beijing in 7 days. People all round the world are earnestly look forward to that moment. Staging the Olympics in a country that is home to one-fifth of the world's population shows the world's trust in China and the contribution made by China to the world. The Beijing Olympic Games belong to the Chinese people and to the people of all countries in the world as well.
Since Beijing won the bid on July 13, 2001, the Chinese government and people have been fulfilling their solemn commitment to the international community, working closely with the International Olympic Committee and the international Olympic family to make careful preparations, which lays down a solid foundation for hosting a high-level Olympics with distinguishing features, stressed Hu.
On behalf of the Chinese government and people, he extended welcome to friends from all over the world to come to Beijing to participate in and watch the Olympics and to the journalists worldwide to cover the Games.
Then Hu answered questions of the journalists.
The RIA Novosti journalist asked what is the greatest achievement of China in the process of preparing for the Olympics over the past 7 years and what legacy the Olympics will leave to China.
Hu noted that over the past 7 years the Beijing Organizing Committee of the Olympic Games (BOCOG), concentrating on the goal of hosting a high-level Olympics with distinctive features, has comprehensively implemented China's commitment to the Olympics and done a great deal of work and made remarkable achievements in the fields of venue and infrastructure construction, environment protection, city operation, security and media service in line with the concept of the Green Olympics, the Hi-tech Olympics and the People's Olympics. Such achievements provide favorable conditions for not only the smooth holding of the Beijing Olympic Games but also the future development of China and the Chinese people's efforts to create a better life.
Hosting the Beijing Olympic Games will leave us a number of sports venues and infrastructure. We treasure these material legacies very much and will give a full play to their function and roles. But we believe the spiritual legacies of the Games will be more sustainable and valuable. There are three major spiritual legacies. The first is the spread of the Olympic spirit of unity, friendship and peace. The second is the practice of the concept of a Green Olympics, a Hi-tech Olympics and a People's Olympics. The third is the promotion of exchanges and learning among cultures of all the countries in the world. We cherish more the spiritual legacies of the Games and will spare no efforts to carry them forward.
The South African Broadcasting Corporation journalist said that each Olympics hosting city has special concerns when holding such a grand global sports event and asked what the major concerns of the Chinese government are.
Hu said that we hope to push forward the scientific development of the city and promote the social harmony by hosting the Beijing Olympic Games. We have concerns mainly in the following three aspects.
The first is to pay high attention to developing the conservation culture which is a strategic task for China's economic and social development and a major concern of the Chinese people. By hosting the Beijing Olympic Games, we want to work vigorously to promote the protection of ecology and the environment, make the sky clearer, land greener and the water cleaner and make the consciousness and awareness of the conservation culture to be deeply rooted in the hearts of the people.
The second is to attach great importance to technological advance and innovation. We have applied advanced and innovative technologies extensively in the construction of the Olympics venues and throughout the preparations for the Games. For example, the National Stadium "Bird's Nest" is the steel structure stadium with the largest span in the world. The National Aquatics Centre "Water Cube" adopted the polyhedron space steel structure which is original in the world. Active efforts have been made to increase energy efficiency and use geothermal and solar energy when building the venues.
The third is to give priority to improving the civilization quality of the people. we have conducted the Olympic education among more than 400 million of youth throughout China to spread the Olympic spirit, comprehensively launched the campaign of welcoming the Olympics, enhancing civilization and fostering new practices and organized various mass cultural and sports activities in order to carry forward the social tendency of advocating propriety and righteousness, unity and friendliness and hospitality.
When answering the question of the journalist of the Press Trust of India on the politicizing of the Olympics, Hu pointed out that hosting the Olympics is a century-old dream of the Chinese people. The Chinese people asked the question when China could host the Olympics as early as in 1908, and 100 years later the Olympics finally comes to the country. The Chinese people cherish this opportunity very much. They only have one aspiration. That is to make the Beijing Olympic Games a big success, enable the people all over the world to gather joyfully under the five-ring Olympic flag and carry forward the Olympic spirit.
The Olympics not only offers an arena where athletes from all around the world attain glory and dreams but also provides a platform for people to enhance understanding and deepen friendship. It is inevitable that people hold different views on issues. We should narrow the differences and expand common ground by consultations on an equal footing on the basis of mutual respect. Politicizing the Olympics will not solve the issues. It runs counter to the Olympic spirit and the common aspiration of people throughout the world and ultimately harms the development of the international Olympic movement.
The Reuters journalist asked what major internal and external challenges China will face after the Beijing Olympic Games and how China will cope with them. The Olympic investment has stimulated investment and economic growth. On the occasion of the 30th anniversary of China's reform and opening up, what kind of economic policies will China give top priority to maintain the development momentum?
Hu noted that the preparations for the Olympics have undoubtedly boosted Beijing's economic and social development. However, the impact of the preparations for the Games on the Chinese economy should not be overestimated since Beijing's GDP only accounts for a tiny part of China's total. The Chinese economy has experienced severe challenges and serious tests since the beginning of this year. The Chinese people, working vigorously in unity, coped with the unprecedented snow storm and massive earthquake disasters and maintained the sound momentum of social and economic development. China's GDP increased by 10.4% in the first half of this year. But we have noticed that there are growing uncertainties and unstable factors in the international environment and China's domestic economy is facing increasing challenges and difficulties. We have identified our top priority of macro control as maintaining the stable and relatively fast growth of the economy and curbing excessive price increase to implement the scientific concept of development. Hence, we would make efforts in the following regards. The first is to continue to strengthen and improve macro control and solve the serious problems of economic operation; the second is to continue to deepen reform and opening up, push forward economic restructuring and change of the growth pattern and enhance the quality and efficiency of economic development; the third is to strengthen ecological environment protection, energy saving and emission reduction; the fourth is to improve people's livelihood. With the concerted efforts of all the Chinese people and the support of the international community, we will reconstruct the disaster-affected areas and help the local people rebuild their home as soon as possible.
While constantly deepening the economic reform and maintaining the sound and fast economic development, we will continue to pursue comprehensive reforms, including the political system reform, expand socialistic democracy, build a socialistic country ruled by law, speed up the reform of the administrative system, improve the efficiency and services of government departments, protect people's rights and interests and build a society characterized by democracy, unity, vitality, stability and harmony.
When answering the question of the Televisa journalist on the determinant factors of a successful Beijing Olympic Games, Hu said that each Olympics has unique characteristics and has impressed the people all over the world very much. It requires various factors to host a successful Olympic Games, such as venue construction and operation, city operation, environment improvement, media service, volunteer service and security. All of those factors are critical and indispensable. However, I believe the determinant factors should be to promote the Olympic spirit of unity, friendship and peace and provide a stage for athletes to compete fairly and perform their best, friends all over the world to strengthen mutual understanding and friendship and people of all countries to enjoy the happiness of the Olympics.
On the question of The Australian journalist what the Olympic slogan "One World, One Dream" means to Hu and to China and what is his and China's dream, Hu stressed that "One World, One Dream" fully demonstrates the Olympic spirit and the tenet of Beijing Olympic Games. The slogan expresses our sincere wish that the Chinese people join hands with people of other countries, inspired by the Olympic spirit, to enhance exchanges and cooperation, open a new chapter of the international Olympic movement and create a better future for the mankind.
My dream is the same with that of the Chinese people. I always believe that as a national leader I must listen to the voice of the people, respect the will of the people, take care of the weal and woe of the people and protect the interest of the people. We must attach great importance to what the people think about and how to meet their needs. The dream of the Chinese people is to accelerate the modernization of China, realize the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation and pursue peace, progress and harmonious development with all people in the world.
The Al-Jazeera journalist noted a successful Beijing Olympic Games could enhance China's national strength and asked whether China worries it would intensify the so-called "China Threat" theory.
Hu responded that the Olympics are a magnificent gathering of peace and friendship. The Beijing Olympic Games will showcase the peace-loving image and determination to embrace peace of the Chinese people.
China has made world-acclaimed achievements of modernization during the 30 years of reform and opening up, but it remains the biggest developing nation in the world and faces unusually complicated problems in the process of development. We still have a long way to go to build a well-off society benefiting a billion of population and realize the national modernization and affluence of all the Chinese people.
China has explicitly announced that it observes a defensive military policy and will never seek hegemony or military expansion. China will unswervingly adhere to the road of peaceful development and the opening-up strategy aimed for mutual benefits and seek peaceful, open and cooperative development. China's development will influence or threat nobody. The Chinese people is willing to join hands with people across the globe to build a harmonious world with lasting peace and common prosperity
When answering the question of the Fuji Television Network reporter regarding China's post-Olympics policy for the reporting of foreign journalists, Hu said that China has always opened its door to the outside world. We will, as always, welcome foreign journalists and facilitate their reporting in China whether before or after the Beijing Olympic Games. We also hope foreign journalists abide by the Chinese laws and report China objectively so as to promote the communications and understanding between China and the world.
On the question about the investment in the Beijing Olympic Games raised by the US broadcaster NBC, Hu said that the guideline of running an economic Olympics has been raised and implemented throughout the preparations for the Games. For example, BOCOG has put any single expenditure under strict scrutiny to ensure money is used properly. BOCOG also made full use of the existing sports facilities, and the number of renovated or extended stadiums accounts for half of the total Olympic venues, reducing the number of newly built ones remarkably. Some venues have been built on university campuses and will serve the students after the Olympics. Huge investments do have been made in urban infrastructure construction, including environmental protection, subway, airport and railway projects, but they are part of Beijing's development plan and will not only ensure a successful Olympics but also exert a far-reaching impact on the development of the city and the improvement of living conditions of its citizens. Therefore, such investment is worthy.
Concerning the question of the Dong-A Ilbo journalist on the cultural activities to be staged during the Beijing Olympic Games in order to help the world understand China, Hu said that holding Olympic cultural activities to promote cultural exchanges has always been a great concern and well-arranged by the Olympics host cities.
Since 2003, BOCOG has been holding the Olympic cultural festivals annually in Beijing, Hong Kong, Qingdao and Shanghai. The sixth Olympic Cultural Festival 2008 was launched in June and will last till September and is comprised of 3,000 sessions of cultural activities. The Olympic Village has also arranged cultural activities of different countries and regions, featuring different national customs. Friends from all over the world will be able to enjoy colorful cultures there.
When asked by the AFP journalist regarding which Chinese and foreign athletes he is most concerned for, Hu expressed his concern for the performance of all the athletes during the Beijing Olympic Games and wishes for all of them. He hopes the Chinese athletes can communicate with athletes from other parts of the world and do their best in the Games.
Member of the Secretariat and director of the General Office of the CPC Central Committee Ling Jihua, Member of the Secretariat of the CPC Central Committee and director of the Policy Research Office of the CPC Central Committee Wang Huning and Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi were present at the interview.