The King and Queen of Spain are hosting the President of China on a state visit to their country. This morning King Felipe and Queen Letizia officially welcomed Xi Jinping and his wife, Peng Liyuan, at the Royal Palace in Madrid in a traditional ceremony. Their three-day stay will focus on economic, cultural and political ties between Spain and China.
During the official welcome, the national anthems of Spain and China were played and a 21 gun salute was sounded. The Chinese President joined the King of Spain in an inspection of a guard of honour at the royal residence before the royal hosts and their visitors watched a small parade. King Felipe and Queen Letizia then enjoyed talks with their guests inside the palace where they were also able to show them part of an exhibition about royal history.
President Xi Jinping then travelled to the Plaza de la Villa in Madrid where he was ceremonially presented with the keys to the city. His wife, Peng Liyuan, and Queen Letizia went on to an engagement at the Royal Theatre in Madrid where they were treated to performances of some of the arias from Turandot and met many of those working behind the scenes at the world-famous venue. Later this evening, the King and Queen of Spain will host a state banquet in honour of their guests at the Royal Palace in Madrid.
The state visit got underway yesterday with the arrival of the President of China and his wife in Madrid. Xi Jinping’s first engagement was an audience with King Felipe at the Zarzuela Palace in Madrid which was also attended by Spain’s Foreign Minister, Josep Borrell and his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi, as well as the ambassadors of both countries. Following that, Felipe and Letizia hosted a dinner for their guests.
This is the first Chinese state visit to Spain since 2005 and it’s taking place 45 years after diplomatic relations between the two countries were re-established. Around twenty business and economic agreements are expected to be signed during the visit, which comes to an end on November 29th 2018.