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100 of years of Sino-Danish history in pictures

12.11.2020  04:54

70 years ago Denmark sent a telegram to China’s former Premier Zhou Enlai, officially recognising the People’s Republic of China. On 12 November 2020 we mark the anniversary of the diplomatic relationship between the two nations, when the Ambassador of Denmark to China, Thomas Østrup Møller, invites for a grand reception to take place at the Embassy of the Kingdom of Denmark in Beijing.

Denmark and China has an unbroken string of common history that dates from today and back to the first official contacts almost 350 years ago. We have been digging into the archives, and found some of the Sino-Danish milestones to take you on a walk down memory lane.


The first foreign shop, with a license in Beijing, was in fact a Danish shop. The shop offered convenient goods to foreigners in the period between 1862-1893. Picture from 1907.

The first Danish diplomat to take residence in the Chinese capital was Count Preben F. Ahlefeldt-Laurvig. Ahlefeldt operated in Beijing in the period between 1908-1920, until setting his sails for Warsaw.

The first Danish Chamber of Commerce in China was founded back in 1931, when 12 Danish businesspersons, representing the same number of companies, joint forces in Shanghai. The Chamber is still running today, supporting Danish business in China.

On 24 June 1950, Chairman Mao Zedong handed over the accreditation to Axel Mørch, who became Denmark’s first representative in the People’s Republic of China.

In 1974 the historical meeting between the Danish and Chinese prime ministers, Poul Hartling and Zhou Enlai, took place. It was the first time for a Danish prime minister to visit People’s Republic of China.

In 1979, the Danish Queen Margrethe II, became the first foreign royal leader of state to visit People’s Republic of China.

The grand reception is a part of a series of celebratory activities taking place throughout the year to mark the 70th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Denmark and People’s Republic of China. The Danish mission in China will continue to work to deepen mutual understanding and strengthen bilateral exchanges.