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UK rolls out royal pomp and pageantry for Xi

Updated: 2015-10-20 22:17
By WU JIAO in London and LI XIAOKUN in Beijing (China Daily)
UK rolls out royal pomp and pageantry for Xi

Britain's Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip (R) stand with China's President Xi Jinping (C) and the president's wife Peng Liyuan, during a ceremonial welcome at Horse Guards Parade in London, Britain Oct 20, 2015.[Pang Xinglei/Xinhua]

Analysts said the high-level reception shows the importance that Britain attaches to China. The UK hopes to establish China as its second-biggest trading partner within 10 years.

Wu Baiyi, an expert on European studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said the reception for Xi is based on the premise that the UK has tied its future prosperity to the world's second-largest economy.

"Britain has seen the opportunities brought by China's economic transformation," Wu said.

He said that in the last century, Britain has tied its development to that of the United States. "Now it is still closely linked to the US, but at the same time it is managing ties with China.

"The Cameron government has set the tone for UK-China relations entering a golden era. The royal family, as the country's top diplomatic family, is following the strategy," he said.

Frequent and high-level meetings with members of royal family during the visit not only show the importance Britain attaches to Xi's trip, but will also create more opportunities for top-level exchanges of views, he added.

Tian Dewen, a researcher at the Institute of European Studies under the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said the high-level reception is an eye-catching feature of the visit. He said this is due to surging economic and political ties between the two nations.

Xi was to deliver a speech to the British Parliament later on Tuesday.

He will have official talks with Prime Minister David Cameron on Wednesday before flying to the northern city of Manchester on Thursday night.

Contact the writers through wujiao@chinadaily.com.cn

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