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Danish Prime Minister on official visit to China

09.05.2017  07:46

Danish Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen visited China from 2nd to 4th of May.

During the Prime Minister’s visit, he met China’s state leaders Xi Jinping and Li Keqiang. The two governments endorsed the China-Denmark Joint Work Programme (2017-2020), paving the way to upgrade the existing bilateral Comprehensive Strategic Partnership to a new high.

“The Denmark-China bilateral ties have always been fruitful, with great potentials for cooperation seen in an increasing number of areas. During my visit, we adopted the China-Denmark Joint Work Programme, which I firmly believe will further upgrade our Comprehensive Strategic Partnership established in 2008 to an even higher level,” Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen said in his meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

The 3rd of May Chinese Premier Li Keqiang officially welcomed Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen to China in a ceremony held in front of the Great Hall of the People. During the two countries' national anthems, 19 artillery salutes were fired off and the two Heads of Government inspected the Chinese Honor Guard. After the official ceremony, the two Heads of Governments had a bilateral meeting, in which Prime Minister Rasmussen said Denmark is strongly committed to promoting free trade and investment through opening up, a cornerstone on which the country has built its economic success. He also reassured Premier Li that Denmark would welcome China’s ever-engaging role in expanding free trade and invited China for further cooperation through the EU.

Following the meeting, the two leaders witnessed the signing of six agreements on food trade, organic food, giant panda conservation, regulation on food and drug, film, and accreditation and certification between relevant ministries and government offices in the respective countries. Of the agreements, a Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation of promoting giant panda conservation was signed, reaffirming the pandas’ arrival at the Copenhagen Zoo in Denmark next year.

The signing came one day after the Prime Minister visited the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding in Sichuan Province. The Prime Minister also had the chance to meet the two pandas who are going to Denmark, Mao Sun and He Xing.

Dr. Esben Lunde Larsen, Danish Minister of Environment and Food, and Karen Ellemann, Acting Minister of Health were with the Prime Minister’s delegation and participated in the agreement signings.

After the signings, Premier Li Keqiang invited the Danish delegation to an official dinner.

Prime Minister Rasmussen also met Zhang Dejiang, Chairman of the National People’s Congress Standing Committee on Thursday, 4th of May.

In Chengdu, Prime Minister invited Chinese outbound travelers to visit Denmark under the ongoing 2017 “China-Denmark Tourism Year”. Denmark forecasts to welcome 262,000 Chinese tourists this year, up from 218,000 in 2016. The figure stood at 50,000 in 2009.

The Danish government has smoothened some visa rules for Chinese travelers by rescinding the visa requirement for having a Danish host, shortening tour operators’ visa processing time, and opening three new Visa Application Centers in Xi’an, Shenzhen and Fuzhou.

On business level, Prime Minister Rasmussen witnessed the signing of an agricultural food cooperation agreement with state-owned enterprise China National Cereals, Oils and Foodstuffs Corporation (COFCO), followed by a meeting with Xiao Yaqing, Director of the State-Owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission. The two sides discussed about closer cooperation on investment and business and the supply-side reform in China.

He also attended the inauguration ceremony of the China-Denmark Food and Drug Regulatory Cooperation Center, a bilaterally established body aimed at safeguarding the health and safety of consumers in the use of food and drug (including medical devices, etc.), and encouraging information exchange and bilateral cooperation on the regulation. It is an important and strategic part of the long-term, friendly bilateral relationship between the two countries.

On the sidelines of his visit, Prime Minister Rasmussen jogged in Beijing’s Chaoyang Park and was on a guided tour to the Forbidden City.