COPENHAGEN, June 14 (Xinhua) -- Denmark's Queen Margrethe II and her husband Prince Consort Henrik praised the good relations between Denmark and China, saying they are looking forward to the visit by Chinese President Hu Jintao.
"We are looking very much forward to the visit of President Hu," the queen said in an interview with a group of Chinese reporters in Fredensborg, the summer palace for the royal family, on Wednesday.
The queen said she is very pleased the relationship between the two countries has been very flourishing these years.
"I have been pleased to be able to promote Denmark in China and I know that China is interested in promoting your country to Denmark," she told Chinese reporters from Xinhua News Agency, the People's Daily and China Central Television during the 30-minute interview one day before President Hu will arrive in Copenhagen for a three-day state visit.
"We were all very impressed by the success of the Olympic Games four years ago in Beijing and of course we were very impressed also by the (Shanghai) Expo... where we had the Danish Pavilion which I understand was a success and much admired," said the queen.
The queen said she heard a lot about the two big events in China because Crown Prince Frederik was in Beijing for the Olympic Games in 2008 and the prince consort visited the Denmark Pavilion at the Shanghai Expo in 2010.
The Danish royal couple, who have never met President Hu before, would spend some time with Hu during his stay in Copenhagen, meeting him at the airport, hosting a state banquet in his honor and showing the famous Little Mermaid to him in a boat trip.
"I will be very pleased to explain a little bit about Denmark to him. And I think that is going to be very interesting and hope that he will enjoy his time here," said the queen.
"And we will talk about the past and the future and the present and see what the good relations between China and Denmark can be and how that can evolve in the future. That will be the main topic of our conversation," said the prince consort.
The queen said Hu's visit, the first ever by a Chinese head of state to Denmark, shows China is interested in Denmark.
"Promoting the already very good relations between our two countries and to further trade between our two countries and the contact that comes with trade, I think that is going to be very important," said the queen.
The Danish royal couple recalled their visit to China in September 1979, with excitement.
"To me it was a very exiting experience to visit China because we had all heard about China and we know people who know about China long before that, so to actually be there was fascinating," said the queen.
"One of the things that would of course strike any European 33 years ago was that everything was so different. And I had never been anywhere where you could at least read some of the signs. But everything was in Chinese and it was fascinating," the queen told the Chinese reporters.
"We were very very warmly and kindly received and we had the opportunity to visit other parts of China apart from Beijing. We were in Shanghai, we were in Xi'an, and we were in Hangzhou and we also visited Guilin and we were on the river too. It was very beautiful," the queen said.
"We have always heard about it and it really was extraordinary. And then of course, we both enjoyed Chinese food, so that was a wonderful opportunity," said the queen, laughing.
The queen and the prince consort also checked their memories about if any of them had touched the terra-cotta warriors when they visited Xi'an, an ancient city in central China.
"We had already long standing diplomatic relations with China... and we were very pleased to take this journey. And as I said it was very exciting for us to come all that way and to actually be in China which we had never seen," the queen explained.
The queen said her husband, the prince consort, went to Kunming, a city in southwestern China, when he was a very small child.
The prince consort, who speaks some Chinese with perfect pronunciation, said he keeps a number of brush pens and the traditional Chinese ink. To show his skills, he put a piece of notebook-size paper on the table in front of him and wrote on it his Chinese name.
"I am actually very fascinated by the calligraphy which is a big art in China. It is one of the most valued art forms you can show and I have been very fascinated by the way it is done," said the prince consort.
"I have studied the Chinese language and have a diploma from Paris in Chinese and have traveled a lot to China," said the prince consort, who have visited China seven or eight times after 1979.
The prince consort said he is very impressed by the fast development in China.
"It is very surprising to see the difference between the times I was there the first time and when we were together in 1979 and the difference to nowadays. Everywhere in China there is a booming activity, there are big constructions, and the towns have changed completely. There is a modernism which is very amazing. The whole infrastructure, the roads and motorways, the airport - everything is really surprising. And for us in Europe it is amazing to see the activity in the Chinese towns," said the prince consort.
An expert herself on renowned Danish writer Hans Christian Andersen, the queen said she has always been very touched by the fact that the Chinese people are so interested in Andersen's fairy tales and people in general know his fairy tales.
"China is a long way away and with a completely different culture. But I am very touched by the fact that his (Andersen's) tales have such a following in China. It tells us something about what an exceptional writer he was," said the queen.
One way for people from different countries to know about each other today is traveling -- going to see things for oneself, said the queen. "We notice that a lot of Chinese tourists come to Denmark nowadays and quite a lot of Danes visit China and that is a wonderful way to promote good relations. And then of course there is a lot of trade going on between our countries and trade doesn't work unless you have good understanding as well," said the queen.
"Both China and Denmark have been very much trading nations and I think we work rather well together in trade. And that's one of the things of course that will be important during the president's visit. There will be a lot of exchange and interest in trade both on a high level and on a more private level," she said.
"And I think in fact that this is the most important issue for the president's visit here. Apart from that he sees Denmark and that Denmark meets the president," said the queen.
The Danish royal couple said they hope relations between Denmark and China will remain good and be further carried forward by future generations.