The Princess Royal concluded a tour of China this week, where she visited Beijing and other major cities. Princess Anne arrived on Monday, to start a four-day visit to the country, aimed at strengthening the relationship between the UK and the People’s Republic of China.
2017 marks the 45th anniversary of British-Chinese diplomatic relations. The Vice Premier called on both nations to strengthen political trust and deepen cooperation, in order to improve both countries strategic outlooks into the 21st century.
The Chinese Vice Premier, Liu Yandong, met with the Princess in China’s capital on Tuesday, where she said that China expects further cooperation with the United Kingdom in the future.
China “appreciates the special and significant role the British Royal Family has played in enhancing the two countries’ wide-ranging cooperation and people-to-people exchanges”, Liu said.
Princess Anne noted the Royal Family’s willingness to advance cooperation in areas such as sports and child protection, with an aim of deepening the trust between the British and Chinese peoples.
The 12th-in-line also explored Beijing’s Forbidden City, and made a stop in Wuhan, a city that is often referred to as the ‘Chicago of China’; the Princess then went on to Changsha, the capital of the Hunan province, considered to be an increasingly important centre for business and commerce.
The Princess Royal visited the Early Childhood Care & Development Service at Fengtai Community Centre, funded by Save The Children, a charity with which she is already heavily involved. The centre’s teachers are helping support children and their loved ones with activities designed to encourage development and growth.
— Save the Children UK (@savechildrenuk) July 7, 2017
After this, The Queen’s daughter visited the Capital Stadium training centre, where she met skaters hoping to compete in the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics. The 2017 World Figure Skating Champions Sui Wenjing and Han Cong then performed a figure skating routine for Princess Anne, which she seemed to enjoy.
That evening, the Princess Royal attended a reception at the British Consulate to celebrate educational links between the UK and China, including the programme ‘Spirit of Youth’.
Actress Jiang Shuying, with Princess Anne and the British Ambassador to China officially launched the Spirit of Youth campaign yesterday. pic.twitter.com/3meJGM5lSo
— BritishCouncil China (@cn_British) July 5, 2017
The following day, Anne visited the institute of Hydrobiology at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Wuhan, in her capacity as Patron of the Whitley Fund for Nature. Her Royal Highness then attended a meeting with Mr. Chaoliang Jiang, Party Secretary of Hubei Province.
When in Wuhan, Princess Anne also visited the Wuhan Business University and the organisation’s Equestrian School. Her Royal Highness observed the work of the British Horse Society (BHS), a charity of which she is Vice-Patron. Anne has been Vice-Patron of the society for three months, with Her Majesty being Patron since 1952. Both, mother and daughter have a passion for horses, with the Princess having represented Great Britain at the Olympics.
— China Institute (@UOBChina) July 5, 2017
The BHS is at the University in order to promote and encourage strong equestrian links with the Royal Agricultural University in Britain. The BHS is the UK’s biggest equestrian charity with over 96,000 members, protecting and promoting the interests of horses, horse riders and enthusiasts across the UK.
Some of the university’s students showed The Queen’s daughter new equestrian virtual reality equipment, and a British racehorse simulator.
Before ending her tour of the building, Anne unveiled a plaque, recording her visit to the newly-constructed University Museum.
The last day of the tour began at Yanghu Wetland Science Museum, as the Princess launched the joint WWF UK-HSBC Biodiversity Project, and observed the signing ceremony for a Memorandum of Understanding on Milu Deer genetic pool exchange and scientific research.
Later on, in Changsha, Princess Anne opened the new Changsha Meixihi Inernational Culture and Arts Centre, designed by the late British architect, Zaha Hadid. Anne also attended a Queen’s Birthday Party, in order to launch the ‘UK in Hunan Week’. The week will focus on over 10 activities, specialising in culture, tourism, education and business, all aimed at presenting Britain’s creativity and entrepreneurship.
The Queen’s daughter then opened the ‘Children’s Palliative Care in China – Spreading the Hope’ conference, subsequently visiting the Butterfly Home Children’s Hospital in Changsha, where she received a tour and met members of staff.
Finally, the Princess visited Yuelu Academy to view the exhibition on women entrepreneurship, in her capacity as Chancellor of the University of London. The exhibition is run in partnership with Queen Mary, University of London (QMUL). While at the university, Her Royal Highness witnessed both universities sign an agreement to establish a joint programme on design and IT. The Princess concluded her busy tour with a trip to the university’s exhibition of artwork from a collaboration between Queen Mary University and Hunan University, created with the objective of supporting ethnic minority women.
Her Royal Highness’s last visit to China was back in 2005, where she aimed to enhance the relationship between Britain and China, before attending the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.