The long-awaited Beijing Olympic Games opened with spectacular performances late Friday, hitting headlines of world media.
In Japan, nearly all major Japanese newspapers such as the Yomiuri Shimbun, the Mainichi Shimbun, the Tokyo Shimbun and Nihon Keizai Shimbun published the news of the grand event on the front pages of their evening versions.
The state broadcaster NHK (Nihon Hoso Kyokai) televised live the whole ceremony.
Kyodo News and Jiji press, the two leading Japanese news agencies, have been continuously updating news items about the event and releasing striking pictures of the performances at the ceremony.
"Tonight, the Bird's Nest has turned into a red sea of joy with smiling faces everywhere", said an article entitled "The Shared Dream," which was carried in the evening version of the Mainichi Shimbun.
To host the Olympics, which embodies the one-century dream of the Chinese people, will speed up China's development towards maturity, said an article released by Jiji press.
In the United States, the New York Times posted in its website: "An ecstatic China, an ancient nation so determined to be a modern power, finally got its Olympic moment on Friday night...the 2008 Beijing Olympics began with an opening ceremony of soaring fireworks, lavish spectacle and a celebration of Chinese culture and international good will."
The Wall Street Journal said in its website that the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympic Games is expected to attract 4 billion viewers, probably the largest number in Olympic history.
the World Journal said in an editorial that the Beijing Olympic Games opened successfully, as wished by 1.3 billion Chinese people and overseas Chinese. It is a big day for China after 100 years of misery and ordeals.
CNN, ABC and Yahoo also gave wide coverage to the opening ceremony.
In France, French TV channel France 2 televised alive the opening ceremony with explanation of performance showing China's history. France Info radio also reported the grand ceremony.
South Korean KBS, MBC and SBS TV stations broadcasted the opening ceremony live and ran programs introducing the Chinese efforts in preparing for the Games.
KBS invited a Chinese student in South Korea as the guest to explain to the audience the opening ceremony, while MBC sent reporters who know Chinese well to Beijing.
In Thailand, the TV commentators at National Broadcasting Services of Thailand (NBT) lauded the Beijing Olympics opening ceremony, calling it "the most spectacular Olympics opening ever."
"Beautiful indeed," Thai TV anchors repeatedly acclaimed, when the live picture displaying a central stage designed in the form of an ancient Chinese scroll with artists "dancing out" traditional Chinese paintings, with fireworks popping up from the rim of the now household "Bird Nest" -- Chinese National Stadium in Beijing.
Britain's Olympic and Paralympic broadcaster, the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), also ran live broadcasts of the opening ceremony on its BBC1 and BBC high definition channels.
Huw Edwards, who delivered the running commentary with Sue Barker in Beijing, noted the confidence showed by China in the opening ceremony.
A presenter with Eurosport, another British TV channel that broadcast Beijing's opening ceremony live, hailed the Beijing Games as "bigger than anything imaginable," calling the ceremony an "extraordinary" and "extravagant" presentation.
Major British newspapers also updated their websites with news on the ceremony, with the Guardian displaying a photo captioned "Beijing Olympics take flight" showing the Bird's Nest being lit up by fireworks, accompanied by a story titled "Beijing Olympics open with spectacular ceremony."