Chinese Pres. Xi meets with Spanish PM, addresses lawmakers in economic speech

World Today

Chinese President Xi Jinping, second from left, poses with Spain’s King Felipe, second from right, together with their wivese, Peng Liyuan, left, and Spain’s Queen Letizia during a welcome ceremony at the Royal Palace in Madrid, Spain, Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2018. Chinese president Xi Jinping arrived Tuesday in Spain for the first leg of an international tour that will cover a global summit in Argentina and visits to Panama and Portugal. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)

A busy second day for Chinese President Xi Jinping during his state visit to Spain.

In a major address to lawmakers, Xi defended free trade and promised to widen access to foreign investment. He committed to trillions of dollars worth of imported goods. And found time to review the troops, with Spain’s King Felipe.

CGTN’s Al Goodman reports.

A critical meeting on the second day of his trip, Chinese President Xi Jinping joined Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez to discuss their countries’ $30 billion trade relationship. And China’s One Belt and One Road initiative.

The two leaders presided over the signing of about 18 bilateral and business agreements.  By their foreign ministers and other dignitaries and business leaders. A wide range of deals, including for Spain to export premium pork products and table grapes to China, which may help reduce Spain’s hefty trade deficit with China.

Earlier on Wednesday, President Xi met legislative leaders at the Spanish Senate and talked about opening up China’s economy to greater trade and market opportunities for Spain and far beyond.

“China’s doors to the outside world will not be closed, but rather, they will be opened even wider. We will greatly relax market access, improve the investment environment and strengthen intellectual property protection,” Xi said.

Everywhere he moved around the Spanish capital, tight security with Spanish and Chinese protection, in a very long motorcade. 

Which didn’t dampen the main demonstration, largely in favor of President Xi. Hundreds of Chinese living in Spain turned out. Like the President himself, some in the crowd focused on the business aspects of this trip.

The day began with the colorful protocol. President Xi and the First Lady, again together with Spain’s King and Queen. The two heads of state reviewed the honor guard in the patio of the Royal Palace.

The second day of the trip ended where it started, at the Royal Palace. A gala dinner with President Xi and the First Lady, and Spanish King Felipe the Sixth and Queen Letizia.

Klaus Larres discusses the economic ties between China and Spain

CGTN’s Rachelle Akuffo spoke with Klaus Larres, professor of History and International Affairs at the University of North Carolina, about the economic ties between China and Spain.

Chunjuan Nancy Wei discusses President Xi’s trip to Spain

CGTN’s Mike Walter talks with Chunjuan Nancy Wei, associate professor and Fulbright Scholar at the University of Bridgeport, about President Xi’s trip to Spain.