Dan­ish queen re­news China ties

‘Long-stand­ing friend’ im­pressed by na­tion’s rapid de­vel­op­ment

China Daily (Canada) - - CHINA - By LI XIAOKUN lix­i­aokun@chi­nadaily.com.cn

With her sec­ond visit to China on Thurs­day, Dan­ish Queen Mar­grethe II set aside her coun­try’s cus­tom that the monarch vis­its a for­eign coun­try only once dur­ing a reign.

Ob­servers said the rare oc­ca­sion — which in­cluded the largest del­e­ga­tion in Dan­ish his­tory ever to travel on a state visit — re­veals China’s eco­nomic and cul­tural at­trac­tion.

Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping traced his links to his guest to the last gen­er­a­tion, when his fa­ther Xi Zhongxun and his mother re­ceived the queen in Guangzhou in 1979.

The el­der Xi was then leading Guang­dong prov­ince, the pi­lot for China’s re­form and openingup that started in late 1978.

“Your Majesty is a long­stand­ing friend of the Chi­nese people. And for many decades, you have shown care and sup­port for the growth of China’s re­la­tions with Den­mark,” Xi told the queen dur­ing their talks at the Great Hall of the People.

“As the first head of state from a Western coun­try to visit China since China adopted the pol­icy of re­form and open­ing-up, your visit in 1979 went a long way to­ward fur­ther strength­en­ing the China-Den­mark re­la­tion­ship.”

It has been a tra­di­tion in Den­mark that monar­chs visit a coun­try only once, so that diplo­matic ties can be de­vel­oped with as many coun­tries as pos­si­ble.

The 74-year-old queen, who as­cended to the throne in 1972, has only made mul­ti­ple vis­its to Den­mark’s neigh­bors hav­ing spe­cial cul­tural and po­lit­i­cal re­la­tions such as Nor­way and Swe­den.

“Dur­ing all these years I heard from my hus­band, both of my sons and many other people about how much is hap­pen­ing in China,” the queen told Xi.

“It’s re­ally won­der­ful to see, even though I’ve only been here for a few hours, how much it has de­vel­oped, how enor­mous Bei­jing has be­come and how im­pres­sive the city is.”

Dressed in a red dress cov­ered by a sky-blue wind coat, the sil­ver-haired queen was in high spir­its when Xi wel­comed her with a 21-gun salute in the square out­side the Great Hall of the People. She smiled to ev­ery sol­dier she re­viewed and waved to the ca­per­ing pri­mary school stu­dents who wel­comed her with flow­ers.

The two lead­ers later wit­nessed the sign­ing of 10 co­op­er­a­tive documents in fields in­clud­ing green tech­nol­ogy and tourism.

“It is very rare to see the Dan­ish queen bring­ing en­trepreneurs from 110 com­pa­nies on the visit, as the queen does not of­ten deal with de­tailed is­sues at home,” said Cui Hongjian, head of Euro­pean stud­ies with the China In­sti­tute of In­ter­na­tional Stud­ies.

The queen also brought four min­is­ters. She usu­ally takes just the for­eign min­is­ter on over­seas vis­its.

“From that we can tell how much the Chi­nese mar­ket at­tracts Den­mark,” Cui said.

He said the two economies are highly com­ple­men­tary and that Den­mark’s ad­van­tages in agri­cul­ture, medicine, pre­ci­sion in­stru­ments and en­vi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion can greatly ben­e­fit China.

He added that the visit is based on a solid re­la­tion­ship be­tween Bei­jing and Copen­hagen, not­ing that as early as in the 1950s, Den­mark sup­ported Bei­jing in tak­ing back its seat at the United Na­tions from Taipei — two decades ahead of the fact.

Chi­nese Am­bas­sador to Den­mark Liu Bi­wei said Den­mark es­tab­lished diplo­matic re­la­tions with the People’s Repub­lic of China in 1950, mak­ing it the sec­ond Western coun­try to do so af­ter Swe­den.

Den­mark is the only coun­try in north­ern Europe to en­joy a com­pre­hen­sive strate­gic part­ner­ship with China, con­sid­ered the high­est level in Bei­jing’s ties with other na­tions.

Two-way trade vol­ume sur­passed $123 bil­lion in 2013.

Wang Fan, a pro­fes­sor of global pol­i­tics at China For­eign Af­fairs Univer­sity, said good re­la­tions with Copen­hagen also help con­nect Bei­jing with the Euro­pean Union.

The five-day visit will take the queen to Shang­hai, Nan­jing, Suzhou and Ji­ax­ing.

A high­light will be a visit to the mu­seum of the Nan­jing Mas­sacre. More than 300,000 Chi­nese cit­i­zens were killed by Ja­panese in­vaders dur­ing 40 days be­gin­ning on Dec 13, 1937.


Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping wel­comes Queen Mar­grethe II of Den­mark out­side the Great Hall of the People in Bei­jing on Thurs­day.

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