China's President Xi Jinping receives royal welcome in Belgium
Published on Mar 30, 2014 9:05 PM
BRUSSELS (AFP) - Xi Jinping received a royal welcome and an honorary knighthood in Brussels on Sunday at the start of a three-day visit that will see him become the first Chinese leader to visit EU headquarters.
Dozens of royal horsemen escorted Xi and his wife Peng Liyuan as they rolled up to the Brussels palace to be greeted by King Philippe and Queen Mathilde as more than 300 people including many Chinese waving national flags looked on.
In the palace's Empire Room, the king bestowed the Order of Leopold on Xi, who is on the last leg of his maiden swing through Europe as president.
Later Sunday, the royal couple will join the Chinese pair for the official opening of a special park for two giant pandas on loan from China for the next 15 years.
To continue reading, log in if you are a subscriber
Enjoy 2 weeks of unlimited digital access to The Straits Times. Get your free access now!