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President Tony Tan meets China's Xi in Nanjing

President Tony Tan Keng Yam met his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping in Nanjing on Saturday (Aug 16). Both leaders expressed satisfaction with the substantive and multi-faceted bilateral cooperation, which has progressed with the times.

SINGAPORE: President Tony Tan Keng Yam met his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping in Nanjing on Saturday (Aug 16). Dr Tan is in Nanjing for the second Youth Olympic Games (YOG) at the invitation of President Xi.

He congratulated Mr Xi on the excellent arrangements for the Games and expressed confidence that it would be a success. Both leaders also expressed satisfaction with the substantive and multi-faceted bilateral cooperation, which has progressed with the times.

They are also confident that bilateral ties will continue to broaden and deepen, particularly in areas like financial services, science and technology, education and research, and in the new government-to-government project in China's Western Region.

Dr Tan later attended a welcome dinner hosted by Mr Xi for about 70 other VVIPs, including UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon.

DR TAN VISITS SINGAPORE YOG TEAM

President Tony Tan also gave encouragement to the Singapore contingent at the YOG. He visited the Youth Olympic Village, where Singapore's athletes are staying. There, he was given a tour of the village by athletes and Singapore officials, including Chef de Mission, Mark Chay - who is a former national swimmer.

Chay is well-versed in the rigours of international competition, having taken part in both the Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games) and Summer Olympics. And these are valuable experiences that he hopes to pass on to his young charges. 

"It can be quite intimidating, coming to a multi-sports event, with all these large venues, with thousands of people cheering. So, if I'm able to impart these values on how to compete as well as how you carry yourself and excel and have that consistency of performance, I think I've done my job," he said.

That advice holds for many of Singapore's 18 budding athletes at the YOG. For instance, Jonathan Chan has been into diving just four years ago, having been a gymnast for the previous eight years. He is now Singapore's only diving hopeful in Nanjing, competing in the 10m individual platform event.

"I guess I'll just do my best and not worry too much about trying too hard. (Otherwise) I may stress myself out. I'm hoping to reach the top 10 this time, because I've competed with people before and they're all very strong. But I've also improved since then, so hopefully I can aim higher and score better," said Jonathan.

Chay insists there is no medal target for Singapore in Nanjing, despite the country winning seven medals when it hosted the inaugural Games in 2010. Instead, he believes it is about upholding the Olympic spirit, getting to meet competitors from other countries and building camaraderie.