China’s Xi Jinping declares the opening of the largest-ever Asian Games

At a festive opening ceremony in Hangzhou on Saturday, Chinese President Xi Jinping declared the 19th Asian Games open, kicking off a two-week sporting extravaganza with more athletes than the Olympics.
More than 12,000 competitors from 45 countries and territories will compete in 40 sports after being postponed by a year due to China’s now-abandoned zero-Covid policy.

At the 80,000-seat Hangzhou Olympic Stadium, also known as “the Big Lotus,” Xi formally opened the Games in front of visiting leaders including Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Xi Jinping received a rousing welcome from onlookers waving miniature Chinese flags.