President Xi Jinping will deliver a speech on China-EU relations on Tuesday at a leading higher education institute in Bruges.
On the second day of his state visit to Belgium, the president will visit the College of Europe, the world’s first university of postgraduate studies in European affairs, and make a public address on his expectations for the relations between two of the world’s largest economies.
Jorg Monar, the rector of the college, told the China News Service on Friday that the whole of Europe had been talking about “China’s Dream”, the notion raised by Xi in 2012.
Both staff and students at the college were looking forward to learn more how Xi’s vision of China would influence the development of Europe and the rest of the world, CNS quoted Monar as saying.
The college on its official website said the speech would be a closed event due to limited seating.
During Xi’s visit to Paris last week, authorities blocked roads and closed subway stations at rush hour for fear of security breaches or protests. But Reporters Without Borders staged a demonstration at dawn to raise awareness of China’s lack of civil liberties.
The College of Europe houses the first China Library in Europe, which opened on Friday. The school has more than 400 students from 51 countries and regions, and is known as “the cradle of European politicians,” the chairwoman of the school’s China-EU studies programme, Men Jing, told CNS.
Its famous alumni include Danish Prime Minister Thorning Schmidt Helle, the British Deputy Prime Minister Nicholas Clegg, and ambassadors from countries across Europe.
Xi and his wife Peng Liyuan attended the official opening ceremony of a habitat for two giant pandas on loan from China at the southern Pairi Daiza zoo and botanical garden at the start of their three-day visit to Belgium.
“The two pandas hold a long-term stay visa valid for 15 years. I hope children from Belgium will like Xinghui and Haohao [names of the two pandas] and Chinese culture,” Xinhua quoted the president as saying at the ceremony.
Xi had Peng brought toy pandas to the children present at the ceremony, who in return gave the couple their paintings of giant pandas as presents.
Joined by King Philippe and Queen Mathilde, Xi and Peng planted a tree of friendship, a magnolia, in the zoo.
Belgium is the last stop on Xi’s 10-day, four-nation European state visit. He first visited the Netherlands before heading to France and Germany.