11 April 2012, Beijing - China's Vice Minister in charge of the General Administration of Sport (GASC) and Vice President of the Chinese Olympic Committee (COC) Yang Shu'an met with Lord Michael Bates of the United Kingdom in Beijing on 10 April 2012. The two sides had a discussion about the Olympic Truce and other issues of common concern.
As a senior politician in UK, Lord Bates gives his energetic support to the Olympic Movement, accomplishing a 5,000-kilometer long walk via 10 countries - from 22 April 2011 to 15 February 2012 - from Olympia the birthplace of the Olympic Games to London the host city of the 2012 Olympic Games to promote the Olympic Truce Resolution formally adopted by the United Nations General Assembly prior to the 2012 London Olympic Games.
On behalf of the COC and GASC Yang Shu'an extended heartfeld respects to Lord Bates and congratulated him on his outstanding achievements. As he put it, Lord Bates has promoted, with action, the Olympic Truce and peace values of the Olympic Movement wherever he was.
The tradition of the Olympic Truce was established in ancient Greece in the 9th century BC by the signature of a treaty between three kings. During the Truce period, the athletes, artists and their families, as well as ordinary pilgrims, could travel in total safety to participate in or attend the Olympic Games and return afterwards to their respective countries. Taking into account the global context in which sport and the Olympic Games exist, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) decided to revive the ancient concept of the Olympic Truce with the view to protecting, as far as possible, the interests of the athletes and sport in general, and to encourage searching for peaceful and diplomatic solutions to the conflicts around the world. On 17 October 2011, the 66th Session of the United Nations General Assembly adopted an Olympic Truce resolution entitled “Building a better world through sport and the Olympic ideal”, urging the nations of the world to observe the Olympic Truce during the Games of the XXX Olympiad in London.
Yang Shu'an noted that the Chinese Olympic Committee has made every endeavour to spread the Olympic ideal and advocate building of a peaceful and harmonious world so that youth from all over the world can better understand each other and promote friendship on the stage of the Olympic Games. He also briefed Lord Bates about China's preparations for the upcoming London Olympics as well as the achievements made by this country in helping promote sports development in some developing countries.
Lord Bates talked about his experience through his long walk over the past year and expressed his thanks to China for supporting the concept of the Olympic Truce.