Britain’s Prince William visits China

World Today

Britain’s Prince William (L) speaks with Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on March 2, 2015. Prince William is due to meet senior Chinese leaders and tour Beijing’s Forbidden City on the first full day of the highest-profile visit by a member of the royal family to China for 30 years. AFP PHOTO / POOL / Feng Li

The United Kingdom’s Prince William presented China’s president with an invitation from the Queen for him to visit Britain this year, as the prince began the first official trip to mainland China by a senior British royal in a generation on Monday.

Prince William was in Shanghai to launch an event designed to showcase the work of artists, designers, and businesses from the U.K.

He was welcomed by brightly dressed performers waving flags, before being invited to launch the presentation opening the Great Festival of Creativity.

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Earlier that day he was also in Beijing where he met China’s President Xi Jinping in Beijing’s Great Hall of the People, the seat of China’s legislature.

The prince’s three-day trip to Beijing, Shanghai, and southwest China near the border with Myanmar is seen as a test of his diplomatic mettle, but interest in the visit among Chinese was limited without the presence of his wife Kate, who is expecting their second child next month.

Relations between Britain and China are back on track after Beijing suspended high-level diplomatic contacts for 14 months after Prime Minister David Cameron met with the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, in May 2012.

Story compiled with information from the Associated Press.