China’s President Hu Jintao arrived in Copenhagen on Thursday accompanied by a large trade and business delegation, the first-ever visit by a Chinese head of state to Denmark.
Hu was met at Copenhagen airport by Denmark’s Queen Margrethe II and her husband Prince Henrik, as well as other members of the royal family, television footage showed.
The Chinese leader made no remarks on his arrival.
China froze relations with Denmark in 2009, after two successive prime ministers welcomed Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader the Dalai Lama at the official government residence.
Those relations were mended in late 2010 when the Danish parliament made it clear that Copenhagen had a one-China policy and did not back independence for the Himalayan territory.
Hu’s official programme was to begin Friday with a courtesy call on Queen Margrethe at the royal palace, after which he and his wife Liu Yongqing were to board the royal yacht Dannebrog for a sightseeing tour of Copenhagen harbour.
At the same time, Chinese and Danish businesses and officials are scheduled to open a trade conference, at which seven Chinese companies are expected to sign agreements with Danish partners on future cooperation.
Danish Trade minister Pia Olsen Dyhr said earlier this week that her ministry was in the process of finalising agreements in the region of 18 billion kroner (2.42 billion euros, $3.05 billion).
Olsen Dyhr and Chinese Trade minister Chen Deming were to meet Friday with representatives of Danish companies Kopenhagen Fur, NKT, KMC, Carlsberg and Rockwool, all of which aim to develop cooperation with China.
Hu’s visit also underlines Beijing’s interest in Arctic issues.
As part of its international ambitions, China is seeking permanent observer status on the Arctic Council, an intergovernmental forum promoting cooperation among eight states, including Denmark, which border the region.
On Monday, the Chinese-controlled company London Mining Greenland announced it had sought permission to build a 14 billion-kroner mining project in southeast Greenland. It would involve some 2,000 Chinese workers.
Hu is to hold talks on Saturday with Danish prime minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt before leaving for the G20 summit in Los Cabos, Mexico on June 18-19.