Chinese President Xi Jinping attended the opening ceremony of the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 Friday at the National Aquatics Center (Water Cube) in Beijing.
When Xi stepped into the Olympic Hall of the Water Cube with FIBA President Horacio Muratore, FIBA Secretary General Andreas Zagklis and visiting Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, the audience gave a warm welcome with a standing applause.
After the national flag of the People's Republic of China was raised and the national anthem being performed and sung, Muratore delivered a speech.
He said the 2019 edition will be the largest and most-watched Basketball World Cup in history, and will feature the greatest ever number of host cities.
He highly commended the preparation China has made for the competition and said he believed that this Basketball World Cup would be a tremendous success.
At Muratore's invitation, Xi declared the opening of the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019.
Artistic performances unveiled after the rising of the flags of the FIBA and the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019.
Yao Ming, chairman of the China Basketball Association, escorted the trophy of the Basketball World Cup into the center.
The FIBA Basketball World Cup is the top national-level basketball competition held by FIBA every four years. This year's competition will be held from Aug. 31 to Sept. 15.