Guangdong’s vice governor, He Zhongyou, attended a reception this week celebrating Belgian King’s Day at the Belgian Consulate General of Guangzhou on November 15.
The vice governor began by extended his season's greetings and best wishes to the Belgian community in Guangdong on behalf of the Guangdong government at the event.
“Belgium is the heart of Europe and an important partner for China in the EU,” He said. “CPC Guangdong Committee and Guangdong People’s Government attach great importance to the cooperation with European developed countries, including Belgium.”
He also emphasized the “rapid development of friendly cooperation in various fields” following the signing of a sister-province agreement between Guangdong and Limburg last year. He pointed out that the trade volume between Guangdong and Belgium registered at .99 billion (US) in 2015, accounting for 21.5 percent of the two countries’ total mutual trade.
Consul General Joris Salden mentioned in his own speech the 45th anniversary of diplomatic relations between China and Belgium on October 25. He traced back even earlier, to 1961, the interest of the Belgian royal family in China when Queen Elizabeth of Belgium, great grand-mother of the present King, visited China.
“This was considered a very bold move at the time, but the tradition has been maintained through the subsequent generations, and last year the present king and queen made their first state visit to China,” He said.
The consul general also pointed out the port of Antwerp in Belgium increased traffic with China by 50 percent over the past 10 years and actually doubled the volume of traffic from China to Belgium over the same period.
He concluded his speech by expressing gratitude to the Foreign Affairs Office of Guangdong government in working toward the common objective of “underlining the importance of Guangdong Province at the international level.”