|Xi Jinping Meets with King Philippe of Belgium|
On March 30 local time, President Xi Jinping met with King Philippe of Belgium in Brussels.
Prior to the meeting, King Philippe held a grand welcome ceremony for Xi Jinping on the Square of the Egmont Palace. Under the escort of Belgian Royal Horse Guards, Xi Jinping and his wife Mme. Peng Liyuan arrived at the front of the reviewing stand, and were warmly received by King Philippe and Queen Mathilde. The heads of state and their wives stepped onto the reviewing stand. The military band played the national anthems of both China and Belgium. Accompanied by King Philippe, Xi Jinping reviewed the guard of honor.
Following the welcome ceremony, the two heads of state and their wives had an amiable and friendly talk.
Xi Jinping said, the Belgian royal family is the pioneer, founder and promoter of the sound development of China-Belgium relations. China highly appreciates it in this regard. Belgium is the site of the EU headquarters, the heart of Europe and an important cooperative partner of China in the EU. This is my first visit to Belgium and the EU headquarters since I took office as Chinese President. The visit is of special significance. I hope that this visit will further promote the development of China-Belgium and China-EU relations.
Philippe said that President Xi Jinping is the first foreign head of state paying state visit to Belgium he has ever received since crowned as the King of Belgium. Belgium is thus greatly honored. He has read President Xi Jinping's signed article published on the Belgian newspaper Le Soir, and felt that the Chinese president is paying high attention to Belgium and the EU. The Belgian royal family and the government will, as always, pursue a friendly policy towards China, and are willing to play an unique role in promoting Europe-China relations.
King Philippe bestows the Grand Cordon medal and
King Philippe bestowed the Grand Cordon medal and the certificate of the Order of Leopold to Xi Jinping. The Grand Cordon medal of the Order of Leopold is the highest order of Belgium and is awarded by the King of Belgium in person to the political heavyweights of governments and royal members who have made remarkable contributions.
Xi Jinping also laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers later in the day.
Wang Huning, Li Zhanshu, Yang Jiechi and others were present.