ALTHOUGH the 20th century has been the era of global and nuclear war, the worst of wartime enemies eventually buried their differences in the friendly rivalry of the Olympic Games. The modern Olympics are a phenomena of this century, and it is the great hope of mankind that, as the threat of major war recedes, the Olympic movement will grow in strength and commitment. For us in Hongkong, and for our friends across the Pearl River Delta in Macau, Beijing's bid to host the Games in the year 2000 has special significance. By then the two territories will have returned to Chinese sovereignty and the success of Beijing's bid will also be our success. So, as partners with the other provinces, regions and zones of China, we should play a full part to support Beijing's effort. When China emerged from isolation in the 1970s, it developed a new brand of international relations - ''Pingpong Diplomacy''. No one can say with certainty how much this initiative affected China's international ties, but it did receive much favourable media coverage throughout the world. Its hand of friendship may have been holding a table tennis bat but it was still friendship and was well-received. Once again, sport had triumphed. In terms of population and size, China is the largest country in the world, and its growing economic successes must qualify it for a seat at any international forum. Like neighbouring Japan, in the post-war years, China has shown it can achieve its goals through industry and effort, without a need for the vast military expenditure which pushed so many countries to the brink of bankruptcy in the second half of the century. But China's status does warrant that she receives the recognition due any major power. It was China which coined the phrase ''Third World'' and declared herself firmly a part of it. To name Beijing as the venue of the Games in 2000, will do honour to China specifically and the Third World in general. It will also demonstrate that the path of peace she has chosen brings its own rewards. The government of the People's Republic has shown it is capable of meeting this challenge and making the Games a success, providing we all stand behind it. If the Special Autonomous Region of Hongkong plays its part, it could also offset, to some extent, the apprehension which naturally comes with the proposed major political change. Maybe we should reduce this megaphone diplomacy we hear so much about to the simple words ''Beijing 2000'' and help make it a reality.