Hangzhou Asian Games Showcase Inclusiveness, Solidarity

The Asian Games are more than just a sporting event; they serve as a bridge to promote solidarity and friendship.

The 19th Asian Games recently opened in the scenic city of Hangzhou in grand style and with great fanfare. More than 12,500 athletes from 45 countries and regions will compete from Sept. 23 to Oct. 8 to win laurels for their supporters back home.

Also known as the Asiad, the purpose of this sports gala is to create goodwill among Asian countries by promoting sporting competition and a culture of sportsmanship. The multi-event Games held every four years have grown in size to become one of the largest sporting events in the world, second only to the Olympics.

The opening ceremony on Saturday was a memorable event due to the unique, eye-catching display, showing the unity of the Asian people, who have been uniquely linked through an intricate mosaic of cultural, economic and commercial bonds.

Themed “Tide of Asia,” the ceremony delicately presented the idea of oneness through a harmonious melody and the rhythm of water, presenting China integrating with Asia and the rest of the world like a wave, gushing forward and surging upward.

The idea of one Asia finely woven into the inaugural ceremony culminated with a digital torchbearer lighting the torch tower along with the main torchbearer in the stadium. A digital torch relay activity was launched simultaneously with the real torch relay, and the number of online torchbearers had exceeded 104 million before the start of the ceremony. A masterpiece of digital technology, the torch-lighting symbolically presented “Asia on the Rise.”

The importance of a clean environment was duly highlighted, and the Games’ main torch became the first in the world to be lit with zero-carbon methanol. This action represents the commitment and seriousness by China and the fellow Asian community to pursue the goal of green energy in order to bequeath a pollution-free and healthy earth to future generations.

Chen Yan (R) of China and Lee Ji-hun of South Korea greet each other after the men’s individual modern pentathlon laser-run at the Hangzhou Asian Games on Sept. 22, 2023. (Photo/Xinhua)

The concept of inclusiveness was at the center of the entire ceremony, especially when it comes to the role of sports in promoting peace, solidarity and inclusiveness among countries, as the contests help bring people from diverse cultural and social backgrounds closer together to cheer and applaud for the athletes.

All-inclusiveness can be expedited by promoting sports, enhancing confidence in Asian civilizations, and pursuing exchanges and mutual learning. Including others in the process of development has been embodied in the notion of win-win cooperation for a shared future, a bedrock of the Belt and Road Initiative launched a decade ago to bring people closer through the development of infrastructure and trade links. A desire for shared prosperity makes it essential that countries pursue good ties with their neighbors by rejecting a Cold War mentality and bloc confrontation.

Asia has been moving quickly toward a common destination of affluence and happiness through economic rejuvenation. China, as the leading economy on the continent, has been playing its part in shaping Asian development through bilateral and multilateral engagements in diverse fields, including the economy, tourism, green development, culture and sports. Standing at a historical crossroads, mutual understanding and cooperation are crucial for Asia to achieve the objectives of development and progress as a whole.

The Asian Games are more than just a sporting event; they serve as a bridge to promote solidarity and friendship. The Hangzhou Asian Games carry precisely this spirit, showcasing an open, enthusiastic and modern China to the world.