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Queen Elizabeth II hosts welcoming ceremony for President Xi

(Xinhua/ Updated: 2015-10-20 19:11

Queen Elizabeth II hosts welcoming ceremony for President Xi

Britain's Queen Elizabeth and Chinese President Xi Jinping are driven by carriage along The Mall to Buckingham Palace in London Oct 20, 2015.[Wu Zhiyi/China Daily]

LONDON - A traditional ceremonial welcome held by British Queen Elizabeth II for visiting Chinese President Xi Jinping kicked off at noon Tuesday on Horse Guards Parade in central London with the presence of senior royal family members and political leaders.

The Chinese president and his wife Peng Liyuan 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 ceremony.

Thousands of people have lined around the Buckingham Palace and surrounding routes since early morning to welcome and greet the president, who is the first Chinese head of state to visit Britain in 10 years, initiating a "golden time" for bilateral ties.

With 41 rounds of gun salute fired from Green Park and rare London sunshine, the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh formally welcomed Xi and Peng at the Royal pavilion on Horse Guards Parade.

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 played.

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