|Birthday treaties for Belgian King Albert (2005-06-07)|
BEIJING, June 7 -- Belgian King Albert II marked his 71st birthday in Beijing yesterday by further cementing his country's relationship with China.
The Belgian monarch joined President Hu Jintao to witness the signing of 12 bilateral agreements spanning areas including science and technology, trade, investment and education.
"The purpose of my visit to China is to promote the development of the existing good bilateral relations," said the king.
King Albert II and Queen Paola arrived in China on Saturday for an eight-day visit. They were accompanied by more than 40 company managers, scientists and heads of Belgian universities and high schools.
"This is probably the biggest ever trade delegation headed by our king on a foreign visit," said Maxime Sebrechts, press officer for the Belgian Embassy in Beijing.
The king's visit comes six months after Belgian Crown Prince Filip and Princess Mathilde visited China on a mercantile tour.
Chinese Ambassador in Belgium Zhang Qiyue said she still remembered that Belgium helped China establish one of the first joint ventures in the early eighties.
"That's when the reforms in China began," Zhang told local media in Brussels before the visit.
During yesterday's one-hour meeting with the King, President Hu expressed China's strong willingness to strengthen co-operation with Belgium in fields such as biotechnology, medicine, micro-electronics, energy, culture and scientific research.
"China attaches importance to relations with Belgium, and would like to promote political dialogues, economic and trade co-operation, as well as the exchanges in the biological, pharmaceutical, and micro-electronics fields with the country," he said.
Hu expressed appreciation for the adherence of Belgium to the one-China policy, and its support on the Taiwan and Tibet issues.
Hu also said the two countries should enhance co-ordination in regional and international issues, including United Nations reform and Sino-EU relations.
Besides Beijing, the Belgian royals' eight day visit will also take them to Xi'an, Shanghai, Suzhou and Guilin.
King Albert II was born on 6 June 1934 in Brussels. He has been a regular envoy for furthering Belgium's political, cultural and economic ties with other countries.
(Source: China Daily)