( Last Update: 2011/08/22)
The relations between the People's Republic of China and the Kingdom of Belgium made positive progress in 2010.
The two sides had dynamic high-level exchanges which further enhanced their mutual understanding and trust. During his official visit to Belgium in October, Premier Wen Jiabao met with King Albert II and Prime Minister Yves Leterme. The leaders of the two countries had a candid and in-depth exchange of views on further developing bilateral ties and issues of mutual interest. Cooperation documents were signed in nuclear energy, telecommunication and quality inspection and other fields. Steven Vananckere, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, visited China in April, during which he met with Vice President Xi Jinping and talked with Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi. Belgium attached great importance to and took an active part in the World Expo 2010. A number of leaders came to China to attend relevant activities of the Expo, including Prime Minister Leterme, Crown Prince Philippe and heads of the Flemish Region, the Walloon Region and Brussels-Capital Region. King Albert II and Prime Minister Leterme sent messages of condolences to China after the earthquake in Yushu, Qinghai in April.
The economic and trade cooperation between the two countries was fruitful. In May, Steven Vananckere, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Gao Hucheng, Vice Minister of Commerce, co-chaired the ninth meeting of the Economic and Trade Commission between the Belgium-Luxemburg Economic Union and China and had a broad exchange of views on economy and trade in Brussels. The two way trade enjoyed robust growth and recovered to the pre-crisis level. Investment by Chinese enterprises kept expanding in Belgium. After its acquisition of the Volvo Car Corporation, Geely Holding Group Co. pledged not to lay off workers in its plant in Ghent, which was well received locally.
Positive progress was made in cooperation in science, technology and justice. A direct flight was opened between Shanghai and Brussels in May, giving a further boost to people-to-people exchanges. Commemorative activities for the 30th anniversary of science and technology cooperation between China and Belgium were held in Shanghai in June. Cao Jianmin, Chief Prosecutor of the Supreme People's Procuratorate, visited Belgium in June and signed an MOU on cooperation between the Supreme People's Procuratorate and its Belgian counterpart. The two countries maintained consultation and exchange of information on entry-exit administration.
Cooperation between localities was deepened. Sister-city relationship was established between Linyi, Shandong Province and Lommel in May. A series of business and cultural exchange programs were carried out between Shanghai, Tianjin and Antwerp, between Beijing and Brussels-Capital Region and between Fujian and Liège within the sister province and sister city framework.