Updated: 2011-08-12 11:16
(China Daily European Weekly)
Diplomatic pouch: With Mike Peters
Czech Ambassador Libor Secka visited the Ningxia Hui autonomous region earlier this summer, on a mission to learn about the Northwest China region and to "look for the opportunities of possible cooperation with Czech partners".
Ningxia is one of the smallest Chinese provinces, with only 6 million inhabitants, one-third being part of the Muslim Hui minority. Ningxia is rich in natural resources and Secka visited the chemo-energy complex of Ningdong before traveling to the city of Lingwu, an important wool and cashmere processing center.
He met the province's vice-governor, Qu Dongyu, and the two men discussed cooperation opportunities in food-processing, machinery, textiles and tourism. Secka also toured a local mosque, demonstrated his drumming technique on a traditional Chinese drum and got a traditional dance lesson before leaving Lingwu.
The Royal Norwegian Consulate General in Shanghai reports a surge in the number of Chinese tourists visiting Norway. The consulate issued nearly 2,000 tourist visas last month, a record and a year-on-year increase of more than 150 percent.
"We are very happy that so many Chinese travelers want to visit Norway and explore our beautiful county," says Norwegian Consul General to Shanghai Bjrn Blokhus. Almost all Chinese tourists visit Norway on group tours arranged by tour operators.
The two most popular destinations are the capital, Oslo, where people can enjoy the city, cultural life and great shopping, and then the fjords and the amazing scenery of western Norway. Norway has hosted more Chinese tourists since the introduction of the group tourist visa in 2004.
The Belgian Embassy in Beijing says the visit to China by Crown Prince Philippe in October is taking shape: He will lead a large business delegation to meetings and events in Beijing, Tianjin, Chongqing, Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Shanghai.
The trip coincides with the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries and the embassy will host a series of cultural events throughout September and October.
Spain's Ambassador to China, Eugenio Bregolat-Obiols, hosted a private dinner last week at Beijing's Shangri-La Hotel for Real Madrid's technical team, players and sponsors, before the team traveled to Tianjin for a friendly soccer match.
Real Madrid is one of the Spanish Tourism Ambassadors and travels around the world in collaboration with the national tourism administration, Tourspain.
The British Foreign Office has posted a ranking of countries in which Britons required the most assistance in the year ending March 31. The number of UK nationals arrested overseas fell by 10 percent, and the Foreign Office reports handling about 5,700 arrest cases last year.
In the summary, China ranked 15th in the total number of cases and 12th on the list of nations where Britons were most likely to need assistance. Spain continues to be the country where most Britons require assistance (4,971 cases) but when taking visitor and resident numbers into account, Britons will most likely to need consular assistance in the Philippines, Thailand and Pakistan.
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