Asian Games show China soft power: Zardari

China, AFP

GUANGZHOU–Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari praised Guangzhou organizers for the ongoing Asian Games, saying the effort reflected China’s soft power on the global stage, state press said Sunday. “The Guangzhou Asian Games is a great demonstration of China’s soft power to the world,” Xinhua news agency cited the visiting Zardari as saying. “The opening ceremony of the Asian Games was very impressive. This tells the world that China not only has growing economic power, but also (shows) the nation’s culture, discipline and romance.” China is a strong ally of Pakistan and Islamabad draws heavily on Beijing for its defense and infrastructure needs. Zardari, together with his son Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, attended Friday’s opening ceremony and has urged on his nation’s 237 athletes, the report said. He departed China on Saturday, it added. Pakistan is hoping to medal in sports such as hockey, squash, kabaddi, cricket, wrestling, sailing, snooker and boxing. During his visit, Zardari met Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and other officials, discussing bilateral ties and China’s aid to Pakistan following severe flooding over the summer that left millions without adequate shelter.