Mayors of 15 cities worldwide have sent greetings and well wishes to Wuhan for hosting the 2019 Military World Games as the inland Chinese metropolis sees the sports event as an opportunity to gain international fame.
"The city of Markham values and cherishes its partnership with our sister city Wuhan," said the Canadian mayor Frank Scarpitti in a letter. "I would like to salute the organizers, athletes and participants and I wish you all a successful event. Thank you for promoting peace and harmony around the world."
"As a former soldier and Olympic champion, I'm absolutely aware of the significance of such a prestigious sports event. I'm also aware of what this event means for a city, how much you have prepared and what kind of message it sends to the sports world and the athletes," said Zsolt Borkai, mayor of Gyor, Hungary in a video.
Pol. Gen. Aswin Kwanmuang, governor of Bangkok, said he was confident that the Military World Games would be a success and contribute to Wuhan's "strong status as a hub for international events and lively cultural scenes."
Although Australia, Japan, New Zealand and Britain are not member nations of the International Military Sports Council, mayors in these nations also sent their messages.
"This competition is a fantastic way to promote peace and conviviality between nations," said Lianne Dalziel, mayor of Christchurch, New Zealand, adding that sport has the power to break down barriers and bring about positive social change.
"We in Christchurch will be following the CISM World Games with interest. We wish Wuhan a successful hosting of the event and wish all competitors an enjoyable time in our wonderful sister city," she said.
"I wish the event a great success and hope it would promote world peace and friendship among the participants across borders," said Kiichiro Sato, mayor of Oita, Japan in a video.
"Wuhan is developing fast with rapid economic growth and internationalization," he said. "It's my hope that the Military World Games this year will elevate Wuhan's international status even further."
"Wuhan is a welcoming city with great hospitality, so I have no doubt that the 7th Military World Games will be a fantastic event that will benefit serving army, participants and citizens and will also strengthen friendship and solidarity between all competing nations," said Abid Latif Chohan, mayor of Manchester in a video.
At the ongoing 2019 Military World Games, a record 9,308 soldiers from 109 nations are competing in 27 sports for 329 gold medals, under the motto of this year's Games "Share friendship, build up peace."
Chinese president Xi Jinping declared the Games open at the Wuhan Sports Center Friday evening. The Games will conclude on Oct. 27.