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Interview: Belgium's mayor praises China's success of opening policy
2017-01-23 17:42

(Source: Xinhua)

BRUSSELS, Jan. 21 (Xinhua) -- Richard Fournaux, Belgium's mayor of Dinant, a city 90 km to the south of the capital Brussels, spoke highly of China's opening-up policy and congratulated China on its efforts made in dealing with environmental challenges.

"It's so exceptional to see how such a large country with a large population has been managed with so many success, by not only keeping your own political characteristics but also by turning your country toward modernity and the opening to the world," Fournaux told Xinhua in an interview on Friday.

"I hope this openness to the world will develop further and more and more Chinese people will come to discover Europe and its cities like ours," he added.

Among climate change's victims, China, the world's largest developing country, took a bold step to pledge 3 billion U.S. dollars in 2015 to help other developing countries. A year later, it played a decisive role in the eventual delivery of a global climate change accord in Paris.

Fournaux noted that Chinese President Xi Jinping pointed out in Davos of Switzerland that it was not a matter of signing a document but that it had to be implemented.

"I think your country (China) could be an extraordinary example thanks to the new technologies and the extraordinary efforts you are making," the 53-year-old mayor told Xinhua.

China "may set an example for the old European countries that everything can be done to preserve the environment while at the same time to achieve economic development."

The Belgian mayor is keen on establishing communications between Chinese community and his own city.

Dinant, a small French-speaking city with only 13,000 inhabitants, is currently in a mood of preparing for the celebrations of the Chinese lunar New Year with a series of functions.

On Jan. 29, 2017, the second day of the Chinese New Year, a Festival Parade will arrive for the first time in the downtown of the southern city.About 250 artists including musicians, dancers and dragons-show teams will be performing at the rendezvous.

As the hometown of Adolphe Sax, the inventor of the saxophone, groups of saxophonists will join the Chinese performers, to play in the parade, making the public discover the florets of the traditional arts of Belgium as well as that of China.

One of the objectives of this operation is to connect Dinant companies with Chinese representatives in Belgium. "On this occasion of the Chinese New Year in Dinant, there is also a small collaboration with the Walloon Region," Fournaux announced.

The mayor also invited President Xi to come to Dinant and have a try of its culinary specialty, including beer and cheese.

"I have a proposal to Chinese President Xi Jinping: I have seen in television that in Davos he was discovering the Swiss cheese with great interests and I must remind the president that Belgium is also the country of beer, Leffe," said Fournaux.

"And one of the culinary traditions of the city of Dinant is to taste a warm cheese when you drink with a good glass of Leffe. And so I find that Mr. President should come to Dinant to taste the culinary specialty," he said.

Editor: Tian Shaohui

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