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Sydney - The "New Beijing, Great Olympics" exhibition kicks off today as part of the Royal Easter Show at Sydney Olympic Park. Distinguished guests from both China and Australia at the official opening ceremony included Madame Fu Ying, Chinese Ambassador to Australia, Mr. Jiang Xiaoyu, the Executive Vice President of BOCOG, Senator the Hon Amanda Vanstone, Minister for Immigration and Multicultural Affairs, Sandra Nori, Minister for Tourism and Sport and Recreation, NSW Government, and Cathy Freeman, Olympic gold medallist at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games.

"We are very happy that we’ve brought this exhibition to Sydney, a city with deep Olympic heritage and experience. This exhibition combines the Olympic spirit with Chinese culture, and will promote cultural exchange between our two peoples and help promote the vision of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games by attracting the involvement and participation of Australians," commented Madame Fu Ying, Chinese Ambassador to Australia.

The exhibition is jointly organised by the State Council Information Office of China and Information Office of the Beijing Municipal Government and will last from 7 April to 20 April. Photos and videos featuring Beijing’s historical and cultural legacies, as well as images of modern developments, will be displayed at the exhibition. Models of the landmark 2008 Beijing Olympic venues, including the National Stadium (the “Bird’s Nest”) and the National Swimming Center, will also be highlights of the show. The Five Friendlies, the official Beijing Olympic Games mascots, will also welcome visiting Australians and extend China’s hospitality.

BHP Billiton CEO, Chip Goodyear, said the company was pleased to be able to sponsor the exhibition in Australia.

"This is an extension of our ongoing commitment as the Official Diversified Minerals and Medals Sponsor of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games and Paralympics Games.  Promoting the vision of the Beijing Olympics and helping to introduce China and the significance of the Beijing Olympics to other countries reflects our commitment to China and our interest in contributing to making these Games a success."

The Royal Easter Show is a national icon. It attracts around one million people each year, making it Australia’s largest annual event and the sixth largest of its kind in the world.

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