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Home > China-UK Events > 2008
Interview: Britain to maintain "close cooperation" with China on Olympics: Gordon Brown
2008/08/21
LONDON, Aug. 20 (Xinhua) -- Britain will be maintaining "close cooperation" on the Olympics with China once London takes over the flag from Beijing at the closing ceremony of the 29th Olympic Games on Sunday, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown told Xinhua Wednesday.

    "The Beijing Games are the only opportunity we have to see a Summer Olympics in action before it is our turn to host," Brown said in an exclusive written interview before his departure for Beijing.

    "Several (British) government ministers have been in China to learn from your experience. London 2012 will of course be very different from Beijing 2008," he added.

    "But we will certainly be drawing very positive lessons from China's ability to offer top-class facilities to competitors, and to cope with the pressure on its infrastructure caused by the many thousands of extra visitors to Beijing for the Games," the British leader said.

    "There will be a detailed exchange between the two organizing committees to capture lessons learned. And I was delighted to announce during my visit to China in January a major program of sporting exchanges, 'Tomorrow's Champions', so we can learn from each other's expertise across a range of Olympic disciplines," said Brown.

    He also praised Beijing's preparation for the Olympics, saying "the facilities provided for the competitors are exemplary, not just in Beijing but elsewhere in mainland China and Hong Kong."

    "When I visited the Bird's Nest stadium in January it was already a stunning building. I am looking forward greatly to sitting in this fantastic venue during the Games themselves."

    Brown said he expected both the British and Chinese teams to "perform to the maximum of their ability" and "celebrate genuine Olympic ideals of sportsmanship" in the ongoing Beijing Olympics, in which Britain has secured 16 gold medals so far, and is currently in third place in the overall table behind China and the United States.

    "This is, I think, the most important message of the Olympics -- that the world can be brought together through sport -- and it is what I will be going to Beijing to celebrate," said Brown.

    "Both our countries have invested heavily in our sport, and both have a passion for the Olympic Games," he added.

    During his trip to Beijing, Brown is expected to discuss issues such as the global economy and climate change with Chinese leaders.

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