Belgian royal couple to visit China
Updated: 2015-03-05 10:34
By Fu Jing, Liu Jia and Gao Shuang(chinadaily.com.cn)
Chinese President Xi Jinping (2nd L), his wife Peng Liyuan (R), King Philippe (2nd R) of Belgium and Queen Mathilde of Belgium attend the sending-off ceremony in Brugge, Belgium, April 1, 2014. [Photo/Xinhua]
The King and Queen of Belgium will pay a week-long state visit to China in June, said Didier Reynders, Belgium's deputy prime minister and minister for foreign affairs, at Chinese Goat Year reception organized by Belgian-Chinese Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday.
Chinese President Xi Jinping, who has been invited by Queen Elizabeth to visit the United Kingdom this year, is expected to receive Belgium's King Philippe and his wife in Beijing.
Belgian royal couple's one-week visit in late June will be accompanied by a delegation of CEOs from Belgian large enterprises and SMEs, and Reynders himself, he told China Daily exclusively after the speech.
"One week is too short," admitted Reynders, "for China, of course, it's too short; Beijing and Shanghai will certainly be on the list."
He added that the seven-day tour would include other Chinese cities too, which the Belgian trade agencies are looking into at present.
"The goat year will be a year of cooperation," said Reynders, "to deepen our (China and Belgium) long-term mutually beneficial relationship".
Qu Xing, Chinese Ambassador to Belgium, echoed the call for more intensive collaboration.
Qu said Belgium and China achieved $27.3 billion trade in 2014, and the trade volume of every 7 hours today is equal to that of the whole year in 1971 when Belgium and China established their bilateral relations.
Reynders also said that Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang will visit Belgium and European Union during the EU-China Summit to be held in Belgian capital Brussels this June.
Reynders, who is also the European Affairs Minister for Belgium, stressed on the importance of EU-China partnership.
"We (Europe) want China to be successful, we want China to succeed in its reform, and we want China to have prosperity."
He said Europe would benefit from a prosperous China and vice versa, a strong Europe can be beneficial to China too.