Belgian royal says academic exchanges with city are vital
During his Monday visit to Wuhan University in the capital of central China's Hubei province, Belgium King Philippe highlighted the cooperation between the Chinese city and the European nation.
That same day, the university awarded the king an honorary professorship and signed a cooperation agreement on doctorate training with the Catholic University of Louvain in Belgium.
During a 10-minute speech at Wuhan University, the king stressed the importance of academic exchanges in promoting cultural diversity, overcoming communication obstacles and the importance of language learning in promoting cultural exchanges.
In his speech, he said the on-campus statues of Albert Einstein and Chinese ancient philosopher Mo Zi serve as an inspiration to people to communicate better and create win-win benefits.
With both Belgium and China facing challenges with their aging populations, social security and education, he said both countries should conduct academic exchanges to resolve these issues.
Wuhan University's Party chief Han Jin said educational cooperation between the university and Belgium ranges from exchange programs for students and faculty members to scientific research.
Tao Hongjian, a counselor at the Chinese embassy in Belgium and an alumnus of Wuhan University, said there is a great deal of potential for both countries to cooperate on education.
"Wuhan University has a tradition of French-language education and many of its students have studied at renowned schools in Belgium. The king's visit will further enhance Wuhan University's reputation in Belgium," Tao said.
The king and his wife, Queen Mathilde, arrived in Wuhan on Saturday, starting the first leg of a weeklong State visit to China at the invitation of President Xi Jinping.
It is the present king's ninth visit to China, the first taking place almost 30 years ago, according to Belgium media outlets.
During his stay in the province, the king visited Dongfeng Motor Corp and attended a forum on urbanization. Xinhua News Agency reported that officials from Hubei and Belgium signed a deal on city construction that coincided with the trip.
King Philippe called for more cooperation between Wuhan and Belgium in urban development, low-carbon industries and railways, a sector where Belgium has a lot of expertise.
Dongfeng Manager Zhu Fushou said the company is willing to learn from Belgium in areas of smart transport and new energy.
The king traveled from Wuhan to Beijing on Monday night to continue his state visit to China, which will conclude on Saturday.
Relations between China and Belgium have flourished and academic relations have been growing at a rapid pace in recent years, according to a press release from the Belgium's embassy in China.
Belgian King Philippe delivers a speech at Wuhan University on June 22. He was recognized as an honorary professor of the university during the visit.
Source - China daily