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Hannelore 06-04-2005 05:10 AM

King Albert en Queen Paola visiting ChinaFri 03/06/05 - Belgian King Albert II and Queen Paola are on their way to China for a 8-day visit. The Belgian royals are accompanied by more than 15 company managers, a delegation of scientists and heads of Belgian universities and high schools. The Belgian Minister of Foreign Affairs Karel De Gucht is also part of the Belgian delegation.

The state visit is to last 8 days, which is exceptionally long. It comes six months after the visit of Belgian Crown Prince Filip and Mathilde

Both countries are expected to sign economic deals and exchange programmes between universities.

The Chinese ambassador in Belgium, Zang Qiyue, still remembers that Belgium helped China in establishing a first joint venture in the early eighties.

"That's when the reforms in China began," Zang points out. "Belgium was also the first European country to offer governmental support."

Will Belgium be rewarded for its positive attitude?

Political prisoners? We don't have any" hotter issues will be tackled as well, e.g. the human rights situation in China, the textile war between China and Europe and the tense relationship between China and Taipe.

China has no good reputation when it comes to human rights.

However, Chinese ambassador Zang claims in the daily De Standaard: "We have no political prisoners in China. And there is freedom of speech." Albert have the honour of visiting Pit 1? and Paola will be visiting China's former capital, Xi'an, on Wednesday.

In the past, only the highest guests have been allowed to descend into Pit 1, with the Terra Cotta Army.

Bill Clinton was allowed to walk between the life-sized terra cotta figures of warriors, but Belgian former prime minister Jean-Luc Dehaene had to stay outside.

King Albert is turning 71 on Monday. It is unsure whether he will walk up the Chinese Wall, since he is not so fit anymore. Albert had heart and back surgery over the past few years.

In 2002, PM Guy Verhofstadt lost his balance when walking up the Wall.

Belgian Crown Prince Filip and Mathilde visited China about six months ago, on a mercantile mission.

Hannelore 06-04-2005 05:12 AM

King Albert and queen Paola have arrived this morning in China. It's been 24 years since a Belgian king visited China.

Here's a link to Filip & Mathilde's trade mission to China 6 months ago :

Cathérine Bergeyck 06-05-2005 01:40 PM

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Queen Paola visits the Chinese Wall, Sunday 05 June 2005 in Beijing, China.

Belgium's King Albert II and Queen Paola are on an official state visit in China.

I think Paola looks extremely wonderful (and young!) in these photos. Change of air...

sara1981 06-05-2005 02:58 PM

no King with her i understand why he had heart and back

Sara Boyce

Amira 06-06-2005 09:52 AM

BEIJING, CHINA: Visiting King Albert II of Belgium and Chinese President Hu Jintao walk past top Chinese officials during a review of the honour guard welcoming ceremony, 06 June 2005, at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. King Albert arrived in Beijing 04 June for an official visit and meeting with top Chinese leaders.

Amira 06-07-2005 10:36 PM

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King Albert and Queen Paola of Belgium arrive at the Xian Xianyang International Airport on June 7, 2005 in Xian of Shaanxi Province, China. Belgium's King Albert and Queen Paola are on an eight-day state visit to China

Danielle 06-08-2005 12:43 AM

Great photos everyone! Thanks. I must say, Paola looks very lovely. I always find it humbling to see 'famous people', whether celebrities, royalty, whoever, taking their own photos.

agisele 06-08-2005 08:31 AM

Some of the shots of Queen Paola at the Great Wall suddenly made me realize how much Princess Astrid takes after her mother.

Mette2 06-08-2005 07:02 PM

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From Newscom.

June 4th 2005.
Arrival to Beijing.

Mette2 06-08-2005 07:06 PM

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From Newscom.

June 6th 2005.
Albert celebrating his 71st birthday.

Mette2 06-08-2005 07:14 PM

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From Newscom.

June 7th 2005.
Paola in the Forbidden City.

Mette2 06-08-2005 07:18 PM

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From Newscom.

June 8th 2005.
Visit to Boai. Paola at a school for disabled children in Xian.

Mette2 06-08-2005 07:22 PM

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From Newscom.

June 8th 2005.
Albert and Paola visit the famous excavation site of the Terracotta Warriors in Xian.

Amira 06-08-2005 08:31 PM

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King Albert And Queen Paola Of Belgium Visit China

Danielle 06-10-2005 12:45 AM


Originally Posted by Mette2
From Newscom.

June 8th 2005.
Albert and Paola visit the famous excavation site of the Terracotta Warriors in Xian.

Thanks everyone for the photos. Ooh, that place was shown on the Amazing Race (No. 6, I think). It's absolutely massive.

Alexandria 06-12-2005 11:23 AM

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The following pictures were originally shared at the Benelux Royals MB by Catherine of the wrap-up of Albert and Paola's visit to China.

A walk in the 'Garden of the Humble Administrator' in Suzhou, China, Friday 10 June 2005.

Alexandria 06-12-2005 11:24 AM

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An article and picture courtesy of Catherine, originally posted at the Benelux Royals MB.

Belgian King concludes state visit to China
Updated: 2005-06-12 10:14

Belgian King Albert II concluded his eight-day state visit to China on Saturday afternoon after paying a short visit to Guilin, a scenic resort in South China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.
The king said that his visit to China is fruitful and has helped expand bilateral cooperation between Belgium and China.

Accompanied by Wang Yuefei, mayor of Guilin, King Albert II visited a local park that displays the culture of ethnic minorities in South China. He also enjoyed a cruise on the Lijiang River, which is famous for its natural beauty.

King Albert II said that Guilin is a beautiful city whose culture and long history have impressed him.

The Belgian king arrived in Beijing on June 4. This is the first visit to China by a Belgian head of state in the past 24 years. The king held talks with Chinese President Hu Jintao, top legislator Wu Bangguo and Premier Wen Jiabao in Beijing. Apart from Beijing and Guilin, he also visited the cities of Xi'an, Shanghai and Suzhou.


Danielle 06-12-2005 06:29 PM

Thanks for the photos and article, Alexandria. It's always good that countries aim at strengthening ties between each another. China has such a wonderfully rich culture and I hope they enjoyed their trip. That garden is absolutely beautiful. China is definitely very high on my list of countries to visit in the near future. :p

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