16-06-05

116 (E) [Photoblog] - Belgian king Albert visits China: a photo album.

The Belgian King Albert II and Queen Paola visited China last week. Some informal and original pictures are below. On the left (click to enlarge) are the King and Queen making snapshots of the famous terra cotta warriors in the Museum of Qin Terra Cotta Warriors and Horses in Xi'an.


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Disclaimer: unlike other photography work on this site, these pictures are fully copyrighted, ©VH 2005. Mail me for permission to use any of these photos.


Click here to view in original size Arrival of the Belgian government jet on Xi'an (China) airport.
Click here to view in original size The King and the Queen exit the plane. Behind them is Belgian Foreign Affairs minister (Secretary of State) mr. Karel De Gucht, carrying his briefcase.
Click here to view in original size The King, the Queen, and the Foreign Affairs minister are greeted by Chinese officials. The press is allowed at short distance.
Click here to view in original size Allowed, sometimes very close. The entire visit is conducted in a relaxed and easy-going atmosphere, although there was some disgruntlement by the professional press with the amateur photographers.
Click here to view in original size Symposium in Xi'an about economic development between West-China and Belgium. On the right row are the Belgian officials and some interested Belgian Company CEO's and Board Chairmen.
Celebrity face spotters wil recognize here, and on other pictures:
Baron Paul Buysse, Chairman of the Board of Bekaert; Mr. Rik Daems, Vice-President of the "China-Belgium Direct Investment Equity Fund"; Mr. Dirk Sterckx, chairman of the EU "Delegation for relations with the People's Republic of China" (also read here, in Dutch); Mr. Herman Daems, President of Barco; Baron Leo Delwaide, President and CEO of Antwerp Port Authority; Mr. Chris Dewulf, CEO of PICANOL; Mr. Pierre Jean Everaert, Chairman of the Board of INBEV; Mr. Ronald Everaert, CEO and President of TELINDUS; Baron Georges Jacobs, Chairman of the Board of UCB; Mr. Jean-Paul Votron, CEO of Fortis Bank.
Click here to view in original size Opening address by the Belgian King Albert II.
Click here to view in original size Then on to the traditional tree planting in Xi'an. Behind the King is mr. De Gucht. The security agents can be recognized by their sunglasses, and on LVBlog, one of them explains here why.
Click here to view in original size Tree planting 1.
Click here to view in original size Tree planting 2.
Click here to view in original size The King is welcomed in the successful Xi'an plant of Janssen Pharmaceutica (started as a Flemish-Chinese joint venture, read here in Dutch) by baron Daniel Janssen, Chairman of the Board of Solvay (see also here, in Dutch).
Behind the King is Ajit Shetty, manager of the year 2004 (Trends).
Click here to view in original size Janssen-Cilag presentation.
Click here to view in original size Entry.
Click here to view in original size The King talking to mr. Chen Deming, governor of the province of Shaanxi. Specialists that accompanied the King were surprised that his questions were very knowledgeable and made a lot of sense. But Albert has lead numerous Belgian economic missions abroad before he succeeded his older brother to the throne. So he actually felt very OK in his "old" job.
Click here to view in original size Posing in front of the famous terra cotta warriors in the Museum of Qin Terra Cotta Warriors and Horses in Xi'an.
The King volunteered for this photo session after there was some turmoil (over-rated in the press) near the "pit" and he didn't get in to pose where Clinton and Bush had done. Journalist complained, so this shoot compensated them.
Shot 1.
Click here to view in original size Shot 2.
Click here to view in original size Shot 3.
Click here to view in original size Shot 4.
Click here to view in original size The King and Queen took some time to take pictures of their own. They have identical digital cameras. A clever thing to do, you only need to read one manual.
Shot 1.
Click here to view in original size Shot 2.
Click here to view in original size Shot 3.
Click here to view in original size Shot 4.
Click here to view in original size And the result must have looked like this...
Click here to view in original size Signing of the guest book.
Click here to view in original size Leaving the building.
Click here to view in original size Leaving, on a jet plane.

11:08 Gepost door VH | Permalink | Commentaren (5) |  Facebook |

Commentaren

secret agent man "The secret agents can be recognized by their sunglasses"

Then wouldn't "security detachment" be a better name, them not being very secret anymore?

Gepost door: dof | 16-06-05

secret Corrected... Must be popular, imagehosting is down...

Gepost door: VH | 16-06-05

VAT in the philippines VH, help me out here: "leaving on a jet plane", is that from a John Denver song? Or was it a Steve Miller song?

Off-topic and figs after Easter I guess, but just this week I read that Arroyos popularity in the Philippines has hit rock-bottom because she just imposed a VAT on consumer goods. Some uniform percentage, 10% IIRC. When you were there, was the forthcoming legislation a topic?

Gepost door: The Outlaw Michael Cosyns | 16-06-05

At Michael: The VAT issue has been one of the 3 main topics in the media the past 3 months. The other 2 are the Jueteng scandal (in wich GMA - Arroyo seems to be involved), and the security issue (especially the NPA and the killings).

The VAT rise from 10 to 12% has finally been approved by a bi-camerial commission in May, but will be in effect only near the end of the year. It is primarily a window-dressing operation to upgrade the rating of the country in view of the upcoming external loans to finance the budget deficit. Morgan (the US bank) bought that shit.

Because... unlike in Belgium... the VAT is hardly collected in this endemically corrupt country. For instance, energy and small shops are exempt from it. Large companies bribe their way out of it - some of them never pay taxes. Hotels (except the large chain-hotels in Manila) never issue VAT statements. And the VAT-law is now disputed before the SC (Superior Court). And what that means is... brace yourself for a couple of years.

I returned with 1 kg of scraps from dead-tree media, and I should still organize it. And squeeze some weblogs items out of it. One of my projects is to start a Philippines political weblog (there are very few) - after I get Belgiantransfers back on the rails. It will largely depend on the willingnes of my Pinoy friends to deliver material.

You have to know, all foreign observers and media are based in Makati (the Ixelles of Manila) and Manila and "the Province" (all the rest) are two different worlds. Not a single American dares to travel thru Mindanao, they just see the country thru their Makati spectacles. Which is an illusion. Even the new VAT will not solve the budget deficit. I predict a new EDSA (people uproar) soon. There have been two putch attempts in May (stiffled by the media). The grassroots are fed up with poverty and corruption. But you won't fiind that out in the Makati malls.

Gepost door: VH | 16-06-05

De gucht ziet het licht In "de Tijd" van vandaag op p12 deelt minister van Buitenlandse Zaken De Gucht zijn bevindingen mee van zijn China reis. Een rake analyse trouwens zei het dat de tijd om louter te exporteren naar China al voorbij is. Wie er nu nog niet is, heeft weinig kans. Het is zonder meer zo dat er vele Chinese multinationals en privé-bedrijfseigenaars manieren zoeken om te investeren in Europa . Zij zien het oude continent als benevolenter dan de Verenigde Staten en vooral, zij zoeken naar manieren om een deel van hun kapitaal te exporteren om te vermijden dat een herleving van het communisme in China op hun lieve centjes beslag zou leggen. Grote Chinese-ook staats- bedrijven hebben al jaren pensioenfondsen op de Kaaimaneilanden.Vraag maar aan Alcatel Bell Shanghai (en niet Sjangai...)

Daarom is het dan ook zéér spijtig dat de Belgische overheidsadministratie er werkelijk alles aan doet om het de potentiele chinese investeerders zo moeilijk mogelijk te maken. Vele Chinese bedrijven zijn al uitgeweken naar onze Noorderburen die hen uiteraard met open armen ontvangen.De dienst Vreemdelingenzaken spant daarin werkelijk de kroon. Voor hen zijn alle chinezen met geld verdacht wegens connecties met maffia en triades. Blijven hangen in de "Blauwe Lotus"-sfeer wellicht.

Mocht minister De Gucht zijn correcte analyse ook ingang kunnen doen vinden bij de ambtenarij en de even bekrompen beleidsmensen dan zou hij een dermate positieve bijdrage leveren dat al zijn andere esbattementen peanuts zullen lijken.

Gepost door: china watcher | 17-06-05

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