Foreign Affairs
China, ASEAN see deepening sports exchanges
Last Updated: 2013-09-04 22:41 | Xinhua
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China has witnessed an increasing number of sports exchanges with member countries of the Association of the Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), as the two sides are deepening their cooperation.

The 2013 China-ASEAN International Touring Assembly (CAITA) will kick off in Nanning, capital of south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, on Friday. Competitors from eight ASEAN countries will participate in the 22-day auto rally, making it the largest incarnation of the event since its debut in 2005.

The CAITA is just an epitome of the increasing sports events between China and the ASEAN, said Ma Jitong, director of the foreign exchanges center of Guangxi's regional sports bureau.

"The event not only displays athletic spirit, but also enhances exchanges in various sectors amid deepening cooperation," Ma said.

As the permanent hosting place for the annual China-ASEAN Expo, which runs from Sept. 3 to 6 this year, Guangxi is becoming the first-choice destination for many ASEAN sports events, allowing the autonomous region to gain great economic benefits, he added.

Ma was referring to various international sports events held in Guangxi on a regular basis, such as football matches, rock-climbing tournaments and dragon-boat races that draw a huge number of domestic and international sports fans each year.

He said the soaring sports exchanges are partly thanks to various sports agencies established in recent years, facilitating China's communication with the ASEAN in the field of sports.

"In addition, China and the ASEAN are sending professional coaches and outstanding athletes to each other to perfect their skills, which has further enhanced their communication," Ma said.

Although Guangxi's sports industry remains fledgling, such sports exchanges will contribute to its development and help boost its international influence, the official predicted.

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