Chinese president visits pandas in Brussels zoo

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama visited China last week with her daughters, where they stopped to visit the pandas as part of an education-centered trip.
By Aileen Graef Follow @AileenGraef Contact the Author   |   March 31, 2014 at 10:17 AM

Chinese President Xi Jinping and his wife visited pandas in the Brussels' zoo as part of the first visit to the city by a Chinese leader since China established relations with the European Union in 1975.

Xi and first lady Peng Liyuan visited the wildlife park with the Belgium royals to see the Chinese pandas that China lent to Belgium last month. The gift of pandas follows the Chinese tradition of "panda diplomacy," where pandas are an offering to strengthen relations with another country. During the visit, the wildlife park unveiled a stone with an engraving of the pandas and the two nations' flags together.

The stop in Brussels is the fourth and final leg of a trip through the EU. He stopped in Germany, the Netherlands and France, and will visit EU headquarters Monday for talks with European Council president Herman Van Rompuy.


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