Few national leaders has had the honor of meeting so many British royals
in one day, but with Chinese President Xi Jinping, all efforts have been
made to ensure the distinguished guest receives a full set of British
Addressing the State Banquet for Xi at Buckingham Palace on Tuesday
evening, British Queen Elizabeth II said the United Kingdom and China
have "truly a global partnership" and the president's state visit to
Britain is a "defining moment" for the future of Sino-UK relations.
Britain and China have achieved success not only in economic cooperation
but also in jointly addressing pressing international challenges, and
are now ready to take bilateral relations to "ambitious new heights,"
the Queen said.
The 89-year-old Queen recalled her visit to China with the Duke of
Edinburgh in 1986 as with "great fondness," and applauded China's work
over the past decades in "lifting hundreds of millions of people out of
Earlier, the president and his wife had been greeted by Prince Charles
on behalf of the Queen at their hotel and traveled with the Prince of
Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall to Horse Guards Parade for the
With 41 rounds of gun salute fired from Green Park and 62 from the Tower
of London, the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, bathed in rare London
sunshine, formally welcomed Xi and Peng at the Royal pavilion on Horse
Xi, accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh, inspected the Guard of Honor
and later joined the Queen and the Duke for a state carriage procession
along The Mall to Buckingham Palace, with Chinese National Anthem being
Thousands of people have lined around the Buckingham Palace and
surrounding routes since early morning to welcome the president, who is
the first Chinese head of state to visit Britain in 10 years, initiating
a "golden era" for bilateral ties.
After riding through cheering crowds in the golden and black Diamond
Jubilee Coach, Xi enjoyed a private lunch at Buckingham Palace with the
Queen. He then viewed an exhibition of China-related items from the
Royal Collection in the picture gallery of the palace and exchanged
gifts with the Queen.
The enthusiastic welcome from the British side for the Chinese president
is a "step forward for bilateral ties" and represents "the West and the
East warmly embracing each other for a better future," said Fu Xiaolan,
professor of technology and international development at Oxford
Closer cooperation between China and Britain could "raise the living
standards of ordinary people" and "send more kids to school," she said,
adding that Britain's "knowledge and creativity" will also help China in
its future development.
The president told the Prince of Wales that the China-Britain relations
bear increasing strategic significance and global influence, that he
appreciates the royal family's contribution in cultivating bilateral
ties and welcomes more royal family members to visit China.
Back at Buckingham Palace, Xi met with Prince William, who had traveled
to China in March and delivered the Queen's formal invitation.
Hailing William's March trip to China as a successful visit, Xi said his
visit in Britain is for "deepening China-Britain relations, expanding
bilateral cooperation and promoting friendship between the two peoples,"
hoping that the trip will usher a new chapter in China-Britain