Updated: 2008-08-16 08:00
Western media should take a more objective view when reporting on China, Wilfried Lemke, special advisor on sport for development and peace to UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon, said yesterday.
"I am very disappointed by some articles and some news about China and the criticism of the Games," he said at a press conference in Beijing.
"For example, I read that the sun never shines in Beijing, but when I look out of my window, there it is."
The Western media should understand that China has a "different first priority" for its population, he said.
"I really hope they understand why the IOC was right to bring the Games to Beijing, because China will definitely be more open afterward."
Khalid Malik, the United Nations' resident coordinator in China, said Beijing and other Olympic host cities had made huge progress ahead of the Games, especially with regard to environmental issues.
"This has truly been a Green Olympics in which development has been achieved with an emphasis on environmental suitability," he said at the press conference.
"It is one of the great legacies of the Games the people of China will reap the benefits for years to come," he said.
Lemke agreed China has developed a lot since winning the right to host the Olympics.
"One only has to see the skyline of Beijing to realize the giant strides the country has made," he said.
Richard Fosbury, president of the World Olympians Association, said at the conference that Olympians are the best ambassadors of goodwill in the world of sports.
"Athletes can act as role models and use their influence to promote sport for development and peace," he said.
Many Chinese athletes have worked with the UN to promote poverty alleviation and HIV/AIDS awareness, he said.