The Guangzhou Asian Games was a great demonstration of China's soft power to the world, said Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari on Saturday (November 13).
"The Opening Ceremony of the Asian Games was very impressive," he said in an exclusive interview with Xinhua, adding it tells the world not only China's economic power, but also the nation's culture, discipline and romance.
Zardari, together with his son Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, attended the extravaganza which was staged on Friday (November 12)evening in southern China, City of Guangzhou.
Calling the games "already a success", he said countries or regions hosting future Asian Games need to learn from China.
Pakistan has sent 237 athletes to 17 events at the Guangzhou Games, with hopes for medals in Hockey, Squash, Kabaddi, Cricket, Wrestling, Sailing, Snooker and Boxing.
"I hope our athletes show their best in the competitions, and better to win gold in Kabaddi and Squash which are our traditional strong events," said the Pakistani President.
The 2010 Asian Games will see a record 9,704 athletes from 45 Asian countries and regions, competing in 42 sports.
It was the second China tour of Zardari this year, and also the sixth since he assumed presidency in 2008 September.
"As I always say, China is my second home. I love to come to the country and meet with Chinese friends," said the 54-year-old.
Zardari said he was glad to see the progress and success of the Chinese people in each of his "motivating" tours.
On the table right beside Zardari was a portrait of his wife Benazir Bhutto, former Pakistani Prime Minister.
In his two China trips this year, Zardari brought his daughters or son with Bhutto to the country. He hopes to pass on the traditional friendship between the two countries from generation to generation.
"In my philosophy, anyone or anything has no future cannot exist," he added.
He voiced his hope that both countries would speed up cooperation in agriculture and road construction.
The target to reach bilateral trade volume of 15 billion US dollars by 2011 was just the first step, said a confident Zardari. "Our trade ties will continue to grow, with volumes to reach hundreds of billions in the future."
The Pakistani President left Guangzhou later on Saturday (November 13) to conclude his China trip. Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao met with him on Friday (November 12) afternoon ahead of the Opening of the Asian Games.
"But now, I can say that the Opening Ceremony of Guangzhou Asiad is unique. The whole ceremony is fantastic and my favourite part is a lot of people flying in the sky like birds. They use their wings to fly and to land. It's very, very beautiful and just became a piece of art. That's really a good idea."
The Director General added that Guangzhou residents would definitely benefit from the Asian Games.
"Not immediately. Let's see this after a year," said Husain. "After one year, Guangzhou will be the traveling destination of people from all parts of Asia and the world. Media and athletes will go back and tell their stories about Guangzhou.
"The Asian Games always brings great impact to the organising city. Take a look at Seoul, South Korea in 1986, the Asian Games became a big industry to the country and now Seoul is one of the biggest cities in the world. After 2006 Asiad, Doha is a different city and has a different look. People of Qatar also learned how to organise a multiple sport event in a small country.
"Athletes won't take the sporting facilities home and these facilities will be the development to help the city in the future to look better and much healthier."
Husain said that he would give Guangzhou a full mark of 100 points because of the excellent arrangement and organisation.