Archive for ‘Diplomacy’

28/02/2017

US-China relations: Trump meets senior official Yang Jiechi – BBC News

State Councillor Yang Jiechi is the first senior Chinese official to meet Mr Trump since his inauguration.

Mr Yang also discussed security matters with the new US national security adviser, HR McMaster, and Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law.

It follows tensions over trade and security between the two countries.

On 9 February Mr Trump spoke to Chinese President Xi Jinping by telephone.

In that call he agreed to honour the “One China” policy, backing away from previous threats to recognise the government of Taiwan, which China regards as a breakaway province.In December Mr Trump, as president-elect, had spoken on the phone to the president of Taiwan – a break in protocol which angered Beijing.

In his visit on Monday, Mr Yang also met Vice-President Mike Pence and strategist Steve Bannon, Chinese state media reported.White House press secretary Sean Spicer told reporters that Mr Yang then “had an opportunity to say hi to the president”.

The talks with the Chinese delegation covered “shared interests of national security”, Mr Spicer said.

In January, China’s foreign ministry warned Washington against challenging Beijing’s sovereignty in parts of the South China Sea.

It came after Mr Spicer said the US would “make sure we protect our interests there”.

Barack Obama’s administration refused to take sides in the dispute.

Source: US-China relations: Trump meets senior official Yang Jiechi – BBC News

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24/02/2017

Could China’s Trump tactics actually be working? – BBC News

It’s been a month and adjusting to Donald Trump as US president has been an enormous challenge for China, as for many around the world.

He arrived in office full of provocative and unpredictable messaging on China, but Beijing needs American goodwill, markets and technology to build what it calls its “comprehensive strength”.

That a functioning relationship with the United States is a core strategic interest for China may seem obvious, but it bears repeating.

For the time being at least Mr Trump seems to have stopped insulting and threatening China and key players in his administration are now making nice on the telephone.

So what were China’s tactics and how did it make them work?

1. Cultivate family, cultivate friends

Beijing quickly understood that President Trump would not run an administration like that of his predecessors.

Mr Trump is an elephant in a China shop for the makers of this float in Germany

It noted the importance of family.

Before Mr Trump himself or senior members of his administration talked to key players in China, and while China’s internet was full of mutterings about why Mr Trump had delivered no goodwill message over Chinese New Year, Beijing’s man in Washington, Ambassador Cui Tiankai, deftly reached out to President Trump’s daughter Ivanka.

She bridged the official divide with a well-publicised appearance at a Chinese New Year function at Beijing’s embassy in Washington.

Ivanka’s husband Jared Kushner also has lines of communication to Beijing through his Chinese business partners.

And President Trump’s other daughter Tiffany made a point of sitting in the front row of the New York Fashion Week show of Chinese designer Taoray Wang.

Ms Wang and Tiffany Trump have praised each another

To bolster this network of unofficial connections, China’s best known private entrepreneur Jack Ma, met Mr Trump and promised to create a million American jobs through selling US products on his Alibaba e-commerce platforms.

Even private companies in China have Communist Party cells and are required to do Beijing’s bidding when it comes to matters of strategic national interest.

Jack Ma was on mission and on message. As were the 100 firms which sponsored a Chinese New Year greeting message to Mr Trump on a Times Square billboard in New York.

2. Bring gifts

Mr Trump’s controversial business empire has multiple trademark cases languishing in Chinese courts.

Beijing makes no bones about the fact that its courts are answerable to the Communist Party.

It was an easy act of goodwill to speed through a trademark registration for construction services that Mr Trump had sought for a decade, especially as the move was consistent with a wider move against businesses which jump on the names of public figures as trademarks.

After years of wrangling, Chinese courts awarded Mr Trump valuable commercial rights to his name

In the Trump case, the necessary moves were made quickly and without fanfare last autumn, and the case closed with a victory for Mr Trump last week.

3. Speak softly until you need to speak loud

China is often quick to thunder against hostile foreign forces and accuse foreign governments of hurting the feelings of the Chinese people.Donald Trump offered provocations which would bring down retribution on a lesser foe.

Throughout his presidential campaign he insulted and threatened China, calling it a thief and a rapist on trade and challenging its dearest held positions on Taiwan. Officials also warned of a tougher approach in the South China Sea.

But throughout, Beijing has shown iron self-discipline and restraint.

China claims almost all the South China Sea, a position the US rejects

China’s official news agency Xinhua noted of Mr Trump: “He will soon realise that leaders of the two countries must use more mature and effective ways to communicate than trading barbs via Twitter.”

Since Mr Trump’s election in November, China’s media has been on a tight leash, ordered to use Xinhua’s bland wording in its coverage of the US.

4. Don’t speak until the script is agreed

Unlike other world leaders, President Xi was conspicuously slow to pick up the phone.

Observing the fallout of President Trump’s calls with Mexican and Australian leaders, Beijing was determined to avoid the risk of an undiplomatic incident.

By hanging back till the administration’s “grown ups” like Defence Secretary James Mattis and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson were in the room (figuratively and in some cases literally) China ensured it got the script it wanted.

The two leaders did not speak until long after many other leaders had called Mr TrumpWhen the phone call between President Trump and President Xi finally took place, Beijing won a new US commitment to the cherished One China policy and a dignified encounter.

President Xi emerged with his reputation as a firm and patient actor enhanced. President Trump had talked of staking out a new position on Taiwan – but stepped back.

5. Sweet talk where it pays

Since that call, the lines between Beijing and Washington DC have been humming.

Newly confirmed US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin has talked to several key Chinese players on economic policy. Mr Tillerson has met his opposite number, Wang Yi, and senior diplomat Yang Jiechi.

Beijing has begun to talk of implementing “the consensus reached between President Xi and President Trump” – a relationship featuring “no conflict, no confrontation, mutual respect and win-win co-operation”.

6. Give what you can

In practical terms, China knows that win-win will mean delivering concessions and co-operation wherever it can. And it has already shown willing in one area of US concern, with the suspension of coal imports from North Korea.

North Korean labourers work beside the Yalu River at the North Korean town of Sinuiju on 8 February 2013 which is close to the Chinese city of Dandong.Image copyrightAFP
Image captionBy suspending coal imports, China has put pressure on Pyongyang

Of course, Beijing said this decision was a technicality based on quotas.

But given the provocation of Pyongyang’s latest missile test and growing American concern over the advances of North Korea’s nuclear programme, this is much more likely to have resulted from a careful Chinese calculation of what carrots it could flourish in the direction of Donald Trump and what sticks it could brandish at Kim Jong-un.

7. Turn your opponent’s weakness into your strength

On the global stage, President Xi has usefully presented himself as not Donald Trump.

At the World Economic Forum in Davos, he famously championed globalisation and free trade.

Of course, China is not a paragon of free trade, with a highly protected domestic market. But in a world of “alternative facts”, the rhetoric is powerful.

On the regional stage, China is promoting itself as a leader on multilateral trade, assiduously taking advantage of the US withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) deal, which was intended to underpin American economic leadership in Asia Pacific.

Delegates hold anti-TPP signs at the Democratic Party's convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 25 July 2016Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES
Image captionAlthough the TPP excluded China, it had opponents across the political spectrum in the US

And on the Chinese political stage, Mr Trump is indirectly doing Mr Xi’s work for him.

The Communist Party sometimes struggles to defend one-party authoritarian rule against the glamour and appeal of a free, open and democratic America. But the scenes of American street protest and visa chaos from President Trump’s first month in office are a propaganda gift.

An American president joining China’s state-controlled media in railing against what he calls fake, failing, dishonest US journalists is a second propaganda gift. Beijing has made extensive use of both for its political purposes at home.

Tactics that worked

Beijing will be well satisfied with its performance so far. But this is a multi-player multi-dimensional game with many dangers and traps over the long term.

It has done a good job of neutralising the risks and exploiting the opportunities of President Trump’s first month in office.

Round One to China. There are innumerable rounds still to come.

Source: Could China’s Trump tactics actually be working? – BBC News

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15/02/2017

‘Follow one-China policy’: Beijing warns India over Taiwan delegation | This Week In Asia | South China Morning Post

China has lodged a strong complaint with India over a rare visit by a Taiwanese parliamentary delegation, warning New Delhi to follow one-China policy and refrain from any official contacts with Taipei.

Sharply criticising the visit, foreign ministry spokesperson Geng Shung said Beijing had lodged a “solemn representation” with New Delhi to not have any official contact with Taiwan.

Beijing has always opposed any kind of official contact between Taiwan and countries that have diplomatic ties with China, he said.

Why Trump can’t ‘haggle’ over the one-China policy

Geng spoke against any proposal to upgrade India-Taiwan ties, and warned India to be strict about following the one-China policy and be “prudent” about its ties with Taiwan.India has no formal diplomatic relations with Taiwan. The de facto Indian embassy in Taipei is called the India-Taipei Association and the Taiwanese maintain the Taipei Economic Cultural Center in New Delhi.

A three-member parliamentary delegation from Taiwan arrived in India on Monday for a three-day visit. The leader of the delegation, Kuan Bi-Ling, said Taiwan is “totally independent”.

“It (the one-China policy) is a de facto reality…We suffered a lot because of the one-China policy. We have crafted a pragmatic approach in our diplomatic engagement with major countries, including India, despite these difficulties,” Kuan told the Indian media.Hosting an official delegation from Taiwan appears to be a shift in Indian policy. In May last year, India had reportedly backtracked from sending representatives to the swearing-in ceremony of then Taiwanese president-elect Tsai Ing-wen. The visit of the Taiwanese delegation is a possible sign that both countries are attempting to increase political engagement without New Delhi moving away from the one-China policy.No country is exempt from one-China principle, says Beijing

In September 2015, before she became Taiwan’s first woman president, Tsai had spoken about India being in focus for her country to strengthen ties.“Asean and India are poised to become two of the world’s largest economic bodies. Strengthening our overall relations is a natural choice for Taiwan as we diversify our economic and trade ties. In the future, we will form a new task force to actively pursue this policy objective,” Tsai had said in a key speech at the time.

The New Southbound Policy Office, which directly functions under the president, will focus on strengthening all-round ties with Asean and South Asia, particularly India, Taiwanese diplomats had then told the Hindustan Times.

Earlier on Wednesday, nationalistic tabloid Global Times said India is playing with fire and will suffer if it challenges the one-China policy and increases engagement with Taiwan.

How a snub of the one-China policy almost led Beijing and US into war in the 1990s

“At a time when new US President Donald Trump has put the brakes on challenging China over the Taiwan question, agreeing to change course and respecting the one-China policy, India stands out as a provocateur,” it said. “Some Indians view the Taiwan question as an Achilles’ heel of the mainland. India has long wanted to use the Taiwan question, the South China Sea and Dalai Lama issues as bargaining chips in dealing with China,” writer Yu Ning wrote in an opinion piece for the newspaper.

“By challenging China over the Taiwan question, India is playing with fire,” Yu wrote.

The newspaper blamed Tsai for inciting India.“Tsai is exploiting India’s vigilance and strategic suspicions against China. The pro-independence leader came up with the ”new southbound policy” to ramp up trade and economic interactions in Southeast Asia, South Asia and Oceania, in which India is considered “not one of the, but the most” important country…Tsai hopes to put pressure on the mainland by tying India and Taiwan closer.”

Source: ‘Follow one-China policy’: Beijing warns India over Taiwan delegation | This Week In Asia | South China Morning Post

06/12/2016

Tsai says call with Trump does not reflect US policy change | South China Morning Post

Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen said on Tuesday her phone call with US president-elect Donald Trump should not be interpreted a significant shift in American policy, and stressed that both sides saw the value of maintaining regional stability.

“Of course I have to stress that one phone call does not mean a policy shift,” she told a small group of American reporters in Taipei. “The phone call was a way for us to express our respect for the US election as well as congratulate president-elect Trump on his win.”

Taiwan’s Tsai Ing-Wen initiated phone call with Donald Trump, says island’s presidential spokesmanTrump’s phone call with Tsai broke four decades of diplomatic protocol, alarming some commentators who feared it could spark a dangerous confrontation with Beijing.

Others though, especially US Republicans, have welcomed it as a sign Trump will not be bullied by Beijing, and believe the United States should offer more support to Taiwan’s democracy.

Sources in Trump’s team said the call was planned weeks in advance to establish the incoming president as a break from the past, although vice-president-elect Mike Pence described it as a “courtesy” call, not intended to show a shift in US policy on cross-strait ties.

Tsai echoed that line. “I do not foresee major policy shifts in the near future because we all see the value of stability in the region,” she said.Beijing has reacted with relative calm to the call, lodging what it called a “solemn protest” with the US government, but also underlining that its economic and diplomatic relationship with Washington depended on the US acceptance of the one-China principle, which recognises Beijing as the sole representative of the Chinese nation.

Beijing blocks Taiwan from taking part in almost all international bodies. Tsai’s office said she had told Trump during the phone call that she hoped the United States “would continue to support more opportunities for Taiwan to participate in international issues”.

Reacting to criticism of the call, Trump himself pointed out that the United States sold billions of dollars of arms to Taiwan.

Beijing has already increased the pressure on Taiwan since Tsai’s election, upset that she has not publicly endorsed the “one China” principle – although she consistently expresses the need for dialogue.

China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi appeared to blame Taiwan for the phone call, calling it a “petty” move, and the nationalist Global Times tabloid initially recommended that Beijing should continue to talk to Trump but punish Taiwan.

Michael Cole, a Taipei-based senior non resident fellow at the China Policy Institute, University of Nottingham, wrote that this could include renewed efforts to deny Taiwan access at various multilateral organisations, the stealing of diplomatic allies, punitive economic measures and more intense or frequent military exercises aimed at Taiwan.

If that happens, the domestic support Tsai had received for her call could be countered by greater tensions with Beijing, he said, “What remains to be seen is what kind of ally Taiwan will have in Washington if and when such a shift occurs in the Taiwan Strait,” he wrote in The National Interest.

On Tuesday, there were also signs of growing concern in Beijing that Trump’s constant criticism of Beijing in his speeches and on Twitter might actually mean something. His latest salvo – complaining about China’s currency and trade policy, and its actions in the South China Sea – sparked a frustrated response in the Global Times.What does Donald Trump’s phone call with President Tsai mean for future US arms sales to Taiwan?

“Trump’s China-bashing tweet is just a cover for his real intent, which is to treat China as a fat lamb and cut a piece of meat off it,” it wrote. “China should brace itself for the possible fluctuations of the Sino-US relationship after Trump is sworn in. We must confront Trump’s provocations head-on, and make sure he won’t take advantage of China at the beginning of his tenure.

”The Communist Party mouthpiece People’s Daily took a more measured line, arguing that dialogue was vital to maintaining friendly relations and correct some of Trump’s “inaccurate” criticisms of Beijing.

“Trump’s recent demeanour has proved people’s doubts on his inexperience in diplomatic relations. In fact, Trump is not that ignorant on China and China-US relations, he has some sensible understandings and his own take on matters. But the problem is that Trump’s rhetoric shows that he only knows one side of China and China-US relations,” it wrote in a front-page editorial on its overseas edition.

“At the present, the peaceful transition of China-US relations is the key task that both countries face. It depends on joint efforts, not just good wishes from one side.”

Source: Tsai says call with Trump does not reflect US policy change | South China Morning Post

04/09/2016

China says should constructively handle disputes with India | Reuters

Chinese President Xi Jinping told Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday that the two countries should respect each other’s concerns and constructively handle their differences.

The two nuclear-armed neighbours have been moving to gradually ease long-existing tensions between them.

Leaders of Asia’s two giants pledged last year to cool a festering border dispute, which dates back to a brief border war in 1962, though the disagreement remains unresolved.

Meeting on the sidelines of the G20 summit in the eastern Chinese city of Hangzhou, Xi said relations had maintained a steady, healthy momentum, and should continue to increase mutual understanding and trust.

“We ought to respect and give consideration to each other’s concerns, and use constructive methods to appropriately handle questions on which there are disputes,” Xi said, in comments carried by China’s Foreign Ministry.

“China is willing to work hard with India the maintain the hard-won good position of Sino-India relations,” Xi added.

China’s Defence Ministry said last month that it hoped India could put more efforts into regional peace and stability rather than the opposite, in response to Indian plans to put advanced cruise missiles along the disputed border with China.

Indian military officials say the plan is to equip regiments deployed on the China border with the BrahMos missile, made by an Indo-Russian joint venture, as part of ongoing efforts to build up military and civilian infrastructure capabilities there.

China lays claim to more than 90,000 sq km (35,000 sq miles) ruled by New Delhi in the eastern sector of the Himalayas. India says China occupies 38,000 sq km (14,600 sq miles) of its territory on the Aksai Chin plateau in the west.

India is also suspicious of China’s support for its arch-rival, Pakistan.Modi arrived in China from Vietnam, which is involved in its own dispute with China over the South China Sea, where he offered Vietnam a credit line of half a billion dollars for defence cooperation.Modi’s government has ordered BrahMos Aerospace, which produces the BrahMos missiles, to accelerate sales to a list of five countries topped by Vietnam, according to a government note viewed by Reuters and previously unreported.

Source: China says should constructively handle disputes with India | Reuters

10/06/2016

Is China Rattled By the India-U.S. Love-In? – India Real Time – WSJ

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has made strengthening ties with the U.S. one of his key foreign-policy objectives, as the two countries seek to counterbalance China’s growing footprint in Asia.

In a speech to a joint meeting of the U.S. Congress Wednesday, the conclusion of a three-day trip to the country, Mr. Modi didn’t directly mention China, but said: “In Asia, the absence of an agreed security architecture creates uncertainty.

”A strong India-U.S. partnership can “help ensure security of the sea lanes of commerce and freedom of navigation on seas,” he added.

So is the beefed-up alliance between the two countries making Beijing uncomfortable? The country’s press provides some clues.

Source: Is China Rattled By the India-U.S. Love-In? – India Real Time – WSJ

30/01/2016

China set to participate in India’s smart city mission starting from Solapur – Xinhua | English.news.cn

Solapur, which bore witness to Sino-Indian friendship in history, will soon see a new chapter of cooperation between both countries as China will get actively involved in the city’s smart city mission.

From January 27 to 28, a group of Chinese delegates led by Chinese Consul General Zheng Xiyuan, including representatives from two Chinese high-tech companies, paid a visit to this city.

They saw different projects including sewage treatment plants, textile mills, and sugar mills, and held meetings with local officials and entrepreneurs, exchanging ideas on the smart city planning and progress of Solapur and sharing experiences of both sides in sewage treatment.

The Chinese delegates received warm welcome from the Solapur people. Officials of Solapur showed great interest in the technology of the Chinese companies, and invited them to participate in the sewage treatment projects.

Jiang Konghua, marketing director of Guangdong Sino-Israeli Water Treatment Innovative Industrial Park Co., said he is determined to conduct a comprehensive survey based on the projects he has seen in Solapur, and find the best solution for the development of this city.

Solapur is a city located in the southeastern region of Indian state of Maharashtra. It is the hometown of Dr. Dwarkanath Kotnis, who fought with the Chinese people in WWII, and died in China.

On January 28, Solapur is declared as among the first group of twenty Indian cities to receive funds from the central government to start the smart city mission.

Ever since Narendra Modi took office as prime minister of India and proposed the smart city mission, the enlisted Indian cities have invited various countries to join their mission, including France, Germany, Sweden and the United States.

At the end of last year, Zhu Xiaodan, governor of China’s Guangdong Province, led a group of delegates to visit Maharashtra. During Zhu’s meeting with Devendra Fadnavis, chief minister of Maharashtra, they both agreed on the cooperation in the smart city mission, which led to this visit to Solapur.

Source: China set to participate in India’s smart city mission starting from Solapur – Xinhua | English.news.cn

12/11/2015

LIVE: PM Modi arrives in UK – The Hindu

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Air India aircraft made touchdown this morning at 10 a.m. in Heathrow for his long-awaited bilateral level visit to the United Kingdom — his first since becoming Prime Minister.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his British counterpart David Cameron with their delegations during talks at 10, Downing Street in London on Thursday. Photo: PMO

He was met at the airport by Hugo Swire, Minister of State for the Foreign Office, and Priti Patel, Minister for Employment and Diaspora Champion in the David Cameron government. His visit carries expectations for agreements and partnerships worth billions of dollars across defence, security, finance and sectors like education, research and health.

Mr. Modi is accompanied by a high power business delegation that included Cyrus P. Mistry, chairman, Tata Sons, Sunil Bharti Mittal, chairman, Bharti Enterprises Limited and N. Chandrasekaran, CEO and managing director of Tata Consultancy Services.

Mr. Modi will be greeted by a Guard of Honour at Westminster,which will be followed by delegation level talks at 10 Downing Street with Mr. Cameron. The two Prime Ministers will address a joint press conference after which Mr. Modi will deliver his speech in parliament. He will also garland the statue of Mahatma Gandhi in Parliament Square. The evening will see important agreements between the two country delegations finalised at Guildhall, City of London. Mr. Modi will stay the night at the Prime Minister’s country residence at Chequers.

The pomp and ceremony attached to the visit is expected to include a special tricolour flypast by the Red Arrows Royal Air Force (RAF) Aerobatic Team over the Buckingham Palace before the Prime Minister sits down for lunch with Queen Elizabeth II ahead of his mega diaspora address at the iconic Wembley Stadium in north London.

Source: LIVE: PM Modi arrives in UK – The Hindu

01/11/2015

Japan, China and South Korea ‘restore’ fraught ties – BBC News

The leaders of Japan, China and South Korea say they have “completely restored” trade and security ties, at their first meeting in three years.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, South Korean President Park Geun-hye and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang meet for trilateral meeting in Seoul - 1 November

They said in a statement they had agreed to resume regular trilateral meetings, not held since 2012. They also agreed more economic co-operation.

The talks in the South Korean capital Seoul were an attempt to ease ill-feeling fuelled by territorial disputes and historical disagreements. China and South Korea say Japan has not done enough to atone for its troops’ brutality in World War Two.

The BBC’s Stephen Evans in Seoul says the real significance of the talks is that they happened. They were held regularly until three-and-a-half years ago, when they were called off as bad feeling towards Japan intensified. “We shared the view that trilateral cooperation has been completely restored on the occasion of this summit,” South Korean President Park Geun-hye, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said in a joint statement, quoted by AFP.

Ms Park said the three leaders had agreed to work together to conclude the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), a 16-nation free trade area favoured by Beijing. She said they maintained their goal of “denuclearising” North Korea, AFP reported.

Our correspondent says that South Korea and Japan are torn between their allegiance to the US and their need to get on economically with Beijing. Mr Li met Ms Park on Saturday and the two agreed to try to increase trade, particularly through more Korean exports of food to China and co-operation on research into robotics. The two leaders were joined by Mr Abe on Sunday.

Source: Japan, China and South Korea ‘restore’ fraught ties – BBC News

21/10/2015

British royal welcome for Chinese president highlights China-UK partnership – Xinhua | English.news.cn

Few national leaders has had the honor of meeting so many British royals in one day, but with Chinese President Xi Jinping, all efforts have been made to ensure the distinguished guest receives a full set of British hospitality.

BRITAIN-CHINA-XI JINPING-VISIT-ROYAL WELCOME Addressing the State Banquet for Xi at Buckingham Palace on Tuesday evening, British Queen Elizabeth II said the United Kingdom and China have “truly a global partnership” and the president’s state visit to Britain is a “defining moment” for the future of Sino-UK relations.

Britain and China have achieved success not only in economic cooperation but also in jointly addressing pressing international challenges, and are now ready to take bilateral relations to “ambitious new heights,” the Queen said.

The 89-year-old Queen recalled her visit to China with the Duke of Edinburgh in 1986 as with “great fondness,” and applauded China’s work over the past decades in “lifting hundreds of millions of people out of poverty.”

Echoing the queen, Xi said China and Britain, with their outstanding civilizations, have been influencing each other for centuries though far away from each other geographically.

Both as founding members of the United Nations (UN) and permanent members of the UN Security Council, the two countries share a “sacred” obligation to promote world peace and development, Xi said.

Throughout Tuesday, the royal family have spent quite some quality time with Xi and his wife Peng Liyuan.

A traditional ceremonial welcome was held by the Queen for the Chinese president at noon Tuesday in central London with the presence of senior royal family members and political leaders.

Earlier, the president and his wife had been greeted by Prince Charles on behalf of the Queen at their hotel and traveled with the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall to Horse Guards Parade for the ceremony.

With 41 rounds of gun salute fired from Green Park and 62 from the Tower of London, the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, bathed in rare London sunshine, formally welcomed Xi and Peng at the Royal pavilion on Horse Guards Parade.

Xi, accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh, inspected the Guard of Honor and later joined the Queen and the Duke for a state carriage procession along The Mall to Buckingham Palace, with Chinese National Anthem being played.

Thousands of people have lined around the Buckingham Palace and surrounding routes since early morning to welcome the president, who is the first Chinese head of state to visit Britain in 10 years, initiating a “golden era” for bilateral ties.

After riding through cheering crowds in the golden and black Diamond Jubilee Coach, Xi enjoyed a private lunch at Buckingham Palace with the Queen. He then viewed an exhibition of China-related items from the Royal Collection in the picture gallery of the palace and exchanged gifts with the Queen.

The enthusiastic welcome from the British side for the Chinese president is a “step forward for bilateral ties” and represents “the West and the East warmly embracing each other for a better future,” said Fu Xiaolan, professor of technology and international development at Oxford University.

Closer cooperation between China and Britain could “raise the living standards of ordinary people” and “send more kids to school,” she said, adding that Britain’s “knowledge and creativity” will also help China in its future development.

In the afternoon, Xi and Peng enjoyed tea time and Welsh music with Charles and his wife Camilla at Clarence House, after a visit to the parliament.

Source: British royal welcome for Chinese president highlights China-UK partnership – Xinhua | English.news.cn

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