Gou Zhongwen, director of China's General Administration of Sport, recites a congratulatory letter sent from Chinese President Xi Jinping, during the opening of the BRICS Games at the Guangzhou Baiyun International Convention Center in Guangzhou of south China's Guangdong Province, June 17, 2017. The first-ever BRICS Games raised its curtain here on Saturday evening. (Xinhua/Liu Dawei)
BEIJING, June 17 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping sent a congratulatory letter to the 2017 BRICS Games which opened in Guangzhou on Saturday.
The launch of the first BRICS Games marked an important consensus reached by the BRICS leaders at the Goa Summit in 2016.
While noting each BRICS member country has its own distinct strengths in regards to sports, Xi said he believes that the BRICS Games will provide a unique opportunity to improve performance, popularize traditional sports, promote sports development and enhance friendship among peoples.
"I hope athletes on all sides will display true sportsmanship and excel in the Games," the president said in the letter.
The BRICS Games features five BRICS member countries - Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, with 10 events up for grabs in three sports - men's basketball, women's volleyball and Wushu.
The 2017 BRICS Games, seen as a prelude to the 2017 BRICS Summit to be held in Xiamen, is a clear indication that economic and sporting development are closely linked.
Xi said that the Xiamen Summit is expected as an opportunity to make new advances in the area of cultural and the people-to-people exchanges and cooperation, which in turn will help cement public support for BRICS cooperation.