The Welsh FA, the Football Association of Wales, the International Olympic Committee and the International Table Tennis Federation will hold a special session on Friday to discuss the upcoming visit to Europe of the President of China, Xi Jinping, who will attend the World Table Tennis Championships.
The Chinese delegation is expected to include the President of the Republic of China, Xi Jinping, whose visit to Wales is the most-high profile visit to an international event in Wales’ history.
The president of the International Table Tennis Federation, Fan Fangxiao, recently confirmed that Mr Xi will take up to 14 Chinese players with him as they compete at the annual championships in Cardiff.
The Chinese delegation is expected to include 12 players and one coach.
President Xi Jinping in 2015 at the Rugby World Cup. (ANTHONY DIAZ/AFP/Getty Images)
The Welsh FA has confirmed that following the conclusion of the World Tipping Championships it will join China’s Olympic, Paralympic and other international delegation to stage an Investiture Ceremony for Mr Xi, honouring his inspirational leadership within the world of sport.
“Wales has many ties with China, including an interest in modern Chinese history and sport, particularly table tennis, which is our sport of choice”, said Mr Sarkissian.
“The upcoming team will come under the president’s microscope and that is in our national interest. This is a prelude to what will be an outstanding future meeting in Cardiff. The breadth of the table tennis audience in China is therefore an opportunity to encourage further international growth for the sport of table tennis in Wales and to promote other popular sports in Wales.
“In 1844, when China opened its doors to Europe, table tennis was added to the list of required games.
“Since then the game has been promoted and developed across the different areas of China, with the greatest potential from Hubei province, where many young people play handball and table tennis. This could open a door to growth in Britain and Europe.”