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Xi Jinping Attends the Opening Ceremony of the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019

On the evening of August 30, 2019, President Xi Jinping attended the opening ceremony of the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 at the National Aquatics Center (Water Cube) in Beijing.

At 19:55, Xi Jinping, together with FIBA President Horacio Muratore, FIBA Secretary General Andreas Zagklis and the visiting Philippine President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, stepped into the Olympic Hall of the Water Cube, and the audience gave a warm welcome with standing applause.

The opening ceremony began amid a countdown from the audience. Passionate basketball teenagers put on a vibrant show--Crazy about Basketball. 32 children in basketball clothes appeared one by one, showing in their hands the basketballs with the elements of 32 participating countries.

All the audience stood up. The national flag of the People's Republic of China was raised, with the national anthem of the People's Republic of China being performed and sung.

FIBA President Horacio Muratore delivered a speech. He said, the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup will be the largest and most-watched Basketball World Cup in history, and feature the greatest ever number of host cities. He highly commended the preparation that the Chinese side has made for the event and believed that this year's Basketball World Cup would be successful and brilliant.

At Horacio Muratore's invitation, Xi Jinping declared the opening of the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019.

The flags of the FIBA and the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 were raised at the venue.

The cultural performance, themed "Fantasia of Dreams", was unveiled after a whistle by the mascot of this year's Basketball World Cup, Son of Dreams.

Artists of Beijing Opera and pianist cooperatively performed a program In Pursuit of A Better Self. Young singers sang a rousing chorus Set Out for Our Dreams. Guqin performer played a tune United, We Are Invincible, presenting an interpretation of the oriental philosophy of symbiosis and co-prosperity. Members of Ye Sha Basketball Team sang in unison the song Ambition in My Heart, eulogizing a 16-year-old basketball teenager Ye Sha donating his organs after his death. All the recipients formed a basketball team to commemorate Ye Sha and realize his dream. Basketball youth from five continents and Chinese artists also presented wonderful performances.

Chairman of the Chinese Basketball Association Yao Ming, escorted the champion trophy of the Basketball World Cup into the center. On behalf of eight game-holding cities, eight basketball teenagers declared in turn that "China is ready!" The children sang the song Cheer Up! Basketball, expressing the best wishes for this year's Basketball World Cup.

Ding Xuexiang, Sun Chunlan, Yang Jiechi, Cai Qi, Wang Yi, and others were present at above activities.

The FIBA Basketball World Cup is the world's top national-level basketball tournament held by the FIBA every four years. The final stage of the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 will be held from August 31 to September 15 in China.

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