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Princess Anne visits Beijing equestrian club
By Qin Jize (China Daily)
Updated: 2005-09-22 06:25

Britain's Princess Anne maintained her reputation as an animal-lover in Beijing yesterday when she visited an equestrian club.

During her visit, she discussed with the veterinarian the benefits for the horses there, watched an equestrian performance and looked around the club facilities.

Besides focusing on her passion for horses, the trip is also part of her official duties as a British member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to strengthen the relationship between Beijing, which is hosting the Olympic Games in 2008, and London, the Games' host for 2012. China's Hong Kong Special Administrative Region is to host the equestrian events of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.

The princess also visited the national training bureau of the General Administration of Sports before heading to Shanghai yesterday afternoon.

In Shanghai, the princess hosted an annual press conference for Save the Children, of which she is the president.

Founded in 1920, Save the Children now works in more than 20 provinces and municipalities in China with a Head Office in Beijing and regional offices in Kunming, Hefei, Urumqi, Lhasa and Shanghai. The organization now has more than 120 staff in China.

According to Ailsa Anderson, assistant press secretary to Queen Elizabeth II, the princess will report what she has seen in China to the IOC in an informal discussion because "the two countries have a lot of information to exchange for preparations."

Princess Anne is on her first trip to China, in a four-day tour which will also take her to East China's Anhui and Northwest China's Gansu provinces where she hopes to boost the profile of the Save the Children organization and poverty reduction co-operations.

She will highlight support for local efforts in areas such as child protection, education and HIV/AIDS in her role as president of Save the Children by visiting educational and medical projects in remote areas of Gansu Province.

The princess arrived in Beijing on Tuesday and met with Vice-President Zeng Qinghong and Vice-Foreign Minister Zhang Yesui. She also visited the Forbidden City on Tuesday afternoon.

Zeng told Anne that he hoped the Beijing and London Olympic Games "will become two of the most wonderful sporting events with their own characteristics."

"Her Royal Highness is impressed with the warmth of the people and the buildings in the city, and I believe she would like to come back to Beijing someday," Anderson said.

Princess Anne will remain in China until September 24 at the invitation of the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The princess will leave for Indonesia on Saturday to continue her four-nation tour to strengthen UK ties with Asia.

(China Daily 09/22/2005 page2)

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