On June 22th, 2015, King Philippe of the Kingdom of Belgium paid a visit to Wuhan University and delivered a speech to WHU faculty and students. At 2:20 sharp in the afternoon, King Philippe arrived at the hall of the Old Library and received a warm welcome from the audience.
Han Jin said, the Chair of the University Council, began the welcoming speech with an old Chinese expression, “People think alike don't feel distant even if departed”. He then gave a brief introduction to the diversified cooperation between WHU and universities in Belgium, which is characterized by student and faculty exchange, student joint training and scientific research cooperation.
King Philippe was conferred the title of Honorary Professor by Han Jin
After being conferred with the title of Honorary Professor of Wuhan University, King Philippe started his speech with a review of the noticeable rapid development in the Sino-Belgian relationship during the last four decades. Based on the “people oriented” idea cherished by both countries, he expressed his expectations for a promising prospect toward further cooperation between China and Belgium. As for the relationship between Wuhan and Belgian universities, he mentioned that the history of cooperation between these two places dates back to over 30 years ago. He also highlighted some common geographical advantages, as Wuhan is at the centre of China and Belgium at the centre of Western Europe, which enabled them to become bridges connecting different cultures.
“The statues of Einstein and Muo Zi facing each other on your university campus are strong symbols of mutual benefits that we can draw from having a better communication with one another."
King Philippe is making a speech
Speaking of the crucial role universities can play in multi-cultural communication, he humorously pointed out that in spite of the differences between China and Belgium, in aspects such as geography, language and culture, as long as two peoplestwo make full use of these differences, rather than see them as a barrier, there will be a prominent advantage to benefit both nations.
After the speech, ten student representatives from the Schoool of Languages and Literature had the opportunity to have an in-depth face to face discussion with King Philippe. When asked “how to manage a country where different language and culture coexist?”, he said “we respect creative ideas of everyone and we will never impose our ideas on others.”
The Deputy Prime Minister and the Belgian Minister of Foreign Affairs Didier Reynders, the Vice Governor of Hubei Province Mr. Gan Rongkun, the Ambassador of China's to Belgium Mr. Qu Xing, the Vice president of WHU Prof. Li Fei also attended the activities.
(Rewritten by Siying Wu,edited by Diana & Sijia Hu, Source - Wuhan University)