Belgian Ambassador Wowed by Beijing
Date: 2023-11-20
Source: Beijing Foreign Affairs Office
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Editor's Note

Elegantly dressed in formal attire, there's a group of people, who always actively engage in important diplomatic and foreign affairs events. Despite their busy schedule, they take time to explore the vibrant streets and alleys of Beijing, immersing themselves in the history and cultural allure of this modern metropolis. Who are they? They are ambassadors representing over 170 countries across Asia, Europe, Africa, North America, South America and Oceania, in China.

Curious about their impressions of Beijing? Which popular tourist attractions have they visited, and what cuisines do they like? Do they prefer unwinding at a cafe in Sanlitun, cycling along the riverbanks, or taking leisurely strolls after work? Moreover, what messages do they wish to convey to the people of Beijing? 

To answer those questions, Beijing Foreign Affairs, Beijing Daily and BRTV have jointly launched the "Beijing in the Eyes of Ambassadors" series to share with everyone the perspectives of those ambassadors on the city of Beijing.

This August, His Excellency Mr. Bruno Angelet assumed the position as the Belgian Ambassador to China. Recently, he gladly accepted an interview with the reporter from BRTV.

Bruno Angelet's Impressions of Beijing

Beautiful autumn

The weeks of the month of October have been very nice, very often blue skies, nice weather, air quality is top. So it's very exciting. It's very nice to have autumn in Beijing for the first time.

A big city

Beijing is very big, the city of 22 million people is quite impressive. The surprising thing is that, when you walk in certain neighborhoods,  you don't feel to be in a big capital,  some neighborhoods are quiet.

A lot of trees and fascinating historic monuments

There's a lot of trees in certain areas in Beijing that is extremely nice as well. And of course I loved many parks, the historic monuments that you have.

Skyscrapers and well-organized  traffic

And you see how big the city is. It's quite impressive to see the skyscrapers, the high buildings, the modern architectures. Traffic is quite well organized, but there's a lot of cars obviously, so you also have traffic congestion problems as in Brussels, as in my city.

Very helpful citizens

Citizens are very helpful. I'm of course impressed by the software applications that help me to talk to policemen or people in the streets.

Many places to be discovered

There are so many places in Beijing to be discovered. I tried already a little bit of those, for sure. It's all on the program, but I work on it step by step. So first I try to see some historic monuments in Beijing.  As it soon will be winter, I'm trying in weekend to go out of Beijing and walk in nature, that is the second plan. And step 3 will be culture in evenings or weekends when the winter is there.

Welcome  to Belgium

What are the culinary, scenic and cultural specialties of Belgium? As the ambassador of Belgium to China, what would he like to say to Beijing citizens? 

Welcome all Beijing citizens

What would I say to my friends of Beijing? I would say first of all that Belgians are very friendly, and they would welcome all of the people of Beijing.

4th biggest producer of offshore wind energy

On Earth, the 4th biggest producer of offshore wind energy and I'm proud, and modest but proud to say,  that we are just behind China.

Still great nature

The more interesting thing I think for our Chinese friends is that we have a beautiful country with still great nature.

Exquisite cuisine

Care very much for good food. Belgium cuisine is exquisite. We have excellent chocolates and pralines. Belgium beer is just terrific and I'm happy to see there's many here. And then we make more marvelous fruits and I'm happy to see that we export more and more fruits to China also.

My hometown Bruges

What would I recommend? Just say that the city where I was born. Bruges is a marvelous little city and I try to show you a little picture to the camera. We call my birth city Venice of the North because it's a city with red bricks. In Belgium we use red bricks and this is a typical belfry. I would say of course Bruges is very nice, but there's many other nice cities like Antwerp, Liège, Namur, Ghent and obviously the capital Brussels. So the cities are really great, I would start by doing city tours in Belgium.

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