INTRODUCTION: King Baudouin and Queen Fabiola of Belgium have commenced their 10-day state visit to China.
CU King Baudouin and Queen Fabiola stepping down from aircraft to be greeted by Peng Zhen and vice-Premier Gu Mu; children presenting the King and Queen with flowers.
SV King Baudouin reviewing guard of honour.
SV Families of Belgian diplomats greeting King Baudouin.
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: INTRODUCTION: King Baudouin and Queen Fabiola of Belgium have commenced their 10-day state visit to China. However, the visit may be reduced in scale because China's elder stateswoman Soon Chingling is reported close to death. Described as one of China's leading 20th century figure, Madame Soong, aged 90, is in critical condition with leukaemia and a coronary condition.
SYNOPSIS: Senior Chinese leaders were at Beijing Airport on Monday (25 May) to officially welcome King Baudouin and Queen Fabiola. The Belgian royal couple were met by Peng Zhen, a member of the communists party politburo, and vice-Premier Gu Mu. The King and Queen had visited Bangladesh and Thailand on the first two stages of their Asian tour. In Bangladesh, two economic agreements were signed between that country and Belgium, providing each other with most-favoured-nation treatment. The visit to the Thai capital of Bangkok was described as a private one.
King Baudouin was joined by Mr. Peng in reviewing the guard of honour, comprising members of China's national army and navy. Belgian diplomats and their families also took part in the welcome.
This is the first visit to China by the King and Queen of Belgium. Later at a state banquet, King Baudouin said his country favoured detente with the Soviet Union .. a view likely to be received coolly by his Chinese hosts.