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Xi Jinping starts European tour
Updated: 2009-10-07 22:09

BRUSSELS: Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping arrived in Brussels on Wednesday to begin a five-nation European tour.

Xi said in a written statement released upon his arrival at the airport that  China and Belgium have maintained sound relations since forging diplomatic ties 38 years ago.

Besides better coordination in international affairs, Xi said, the two countries in recent years also have expanded cooperation on trade, culture, and science.

"Through my visit, I hope to strengthen political trust, substantial cooperation in all areas, and friendship between people of the two countries to push forward the relations of the two countries," Xi said.

Xi will hold talks with Belgian Prime Minister Herman Van Rompuy and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso while in Brussels.

The vice president will also attend the opening of the Europalia Chinese Art Festival, one of the top arts festival in Europe.

Belgium is the first stop on Xi's European tour. He will also visit Germany, Bulgaria, Hungary, and Romania.