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State Visit to Monaco of the President of the People's Republic of China

Sunday 24 March 2019, Their Serene Highnesses Prince Albert II and Princess Charlène welcomed His Excellency Mr XI Jinping, President of the People's Republic of China and Mrs. PENG Liyuan, First Lady to Monaco. This state visit follows that which the Sovereign Prince made to China in September 2018.

In the Court of Honour of the Prince's Palace, the Chinese and Monegasque national anthems, played by the Prince's Palace Guards Orchestra, were sounded before a presentation of arms led by Colonel Tony Varo, Commander-in-Chief of the Public Forces and consisting of three sections of the Palace Guards and a section of Firefighters. The two Heads of State reviewed these troops.

The Princely Couple and the Presidential Couple then shared a private moment in the Salon de Famille of the Palace before the presentation of the formal gifts. Then, the Chinese President officially signed the Register of Heads of State before posing for the official photo alongside the First Lady and Their Serene Highnesses.

Further to this, the two Heads of State participated in a bilateral meeting in the presence of the Chinese and Monegasque delegations. Together, they discussed economic and environmental issues.

In preamble, H.S.H. the Prince recalled the historical importance of a first visit to the Principality of a Chinese President, stating that this visit is held under the sign of the Year of the Pig which symbolises luck and prosperity and which is also associated with renewal and the creation of successful relationships.
In return, His Excellency Mr XI Jinping thanked the Sovereign Prince for His warm welcome to the Principality, a country with singular charm, and conveyed to Him the cordial greetings of 1.4 billion people.

The economic element of their conversation concerned the volume of trade between the two countries, which has increased 70-fold since 1985, demonstrating solid and effective cooperation in this area.

The two Heads of State then recalled the implementation of their respective actions in favour of the environment.

H.S.H. the Prince congratulated his counterpart for all the proactive measures he is leading in this field, especially since 2012 with new laws and very strict regulations in China requiring the consideration of environmental parameters above financial parameters in the context of major projects.

H.E. Mr XI Jinping restated that his country is in favour of the implementation of the Paris Agreement.

The Sovereign Prince thanked the Chinese President for the authorisation given on 18 March to open a representative office of His Foundation in China. The Prince Albert II Foundation is already active in China where it is pursuing a protection programme for the Amur Tiger in conjunction with WWF China. It is also working with the China Environmental Protection Foundation to clean up the waters of Lake Taihu.

H.S.H. the Prince told H.E. Mr XI Jinping that, in October 2020, he would participate in COP15 of the Convention on Biological Diversity in Beijing and at the Climate Action Summit of the Secretary General of the United Nations on September 23, 2019 in New York during which China will lead the coalition on the theme of "nature based solutions" and in which the Principality will take part in a form yet to be determined.

Prince Albert congratulated Mr XI on holding the Olympic Winter Games in Beijing in 2022 and mentioned how unprecedented it was that the same city will have held both summer and winter Olympic Games a few years apart.

At the conclusion of this bilateral meeting, the two Heads of State confirmed that relations between their countries are rooted in tradition and culture based on friendship and mutual trust.
The Chinese President recalled that Monaco is on par with other states on the international scene: "despite the difference in size between our countries, the spirit of dialogue allows for the success of our relations". The Prince and the President agreed that this visit will bring the Principality and China into a new era of Sino-Monegasque relations.

At the same time, Princess Charlene and Mrs PENG Liyuan attended a short recital given in the Salle des Gardes by Chinese Canadian violinist ZHANG ZHANG, in the presence of Crown Prince Jacques and Princess Gabriella.
After this, the Princess and the First Lady visited the private gardens and the Pallatine Chapel guided by the explanations of Mr Thomas Fouilleron, Director of the Archives and the Library of the  Palace of Monaco.

The State Lunch offered by Their Serence Highnesses the Prince and the Princess to His Excellency Mr XI Jinping and Mrs PENG Liyuan and to the Chinese and Monegasque delegations took place in the Salle du Trône, in the presence of H.R.H. the Princess of Hanover and H.S.H. Princess Stephanie.

After the luncheon, Their Serene Highnesses and Their Guests went to the Salon Bleu where they were welcomed by the dancers from "La Palladienne" folk group and where students of the Charles III College of Monaco, who study Chinese, performed a small play in Mandarin called "On the way home".

The Presidential Couple then took leave of the Princely Couple.

This historic visit testifies to the strong ties of friendship that have united the People's Republic of China and the Principality since 1995, the date of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

State Visit to Monaco of the President of the People's Republic of China