BEIJING, April 25 -- Prince Albert II of Monaco, who is a member of the International Olympic Committee, said yesterday he is confident Beijing's staging of the Olympic Games next year will be successful.
Prince Albert met with President Hu Jintao shortly after his arrival in Beijing on a four-day state visit.
During the meeting, the two leaders reached wide consensus on strengthening the China-Monaco partnership in finance, insurance, environmental protection and tourism, and expanding bilateral investment and trade.
Hu appreciated Monaco's perseverance in the one-China policy, saying China is willing to work with Monaco to intensify political dialogue and exchanges as well as coordination and cooperation in international affairs.
In response, the prince said Monaco-China ties were raised to the ambassador level last year, which paved the way for a bright future for the two countries' friendly cooperation.
He said his country is ready to expand collaboration with China in various fields to promote bilateral ties.
Prince Albert has previously visited China on four occasions, but this is the first as head of state. The 49-year-old son of the late Prince Rainier and Hollywood actress Grace Kelly, who died in 1982 in an auto accident, was sworn in as head of state in July 2005.
The prince is a keen sportsman. He likes soccer, is a judo black belt, has taken part in the Paris-Dakar rally, and has represented his country four times at the Winter Olympic Games in the bobsleigh event.
Prince Albert will participate in the World Congress of Sports, which opened in Beijing yesterday. He will also visit the Olympic venues that are still under construction.
Before arriving in China, the prince paid a three-day visit to Japan where he attended an exhibition of memorabilia of his mother in Tokyo.
(Source: China Daily)