China

The People's Republic of China is the country with the largest population in the world (more than 1.35 billion inhabitants). It has a culture that goes back millennia and has seen steady economic growth since the late eighties. Since 2009, it has continuously been number one in the world in terms of export goods.

 In the seventeenth century, the Flemish Jesuit Ferdinand Verbiest was not just a missionary, but also the court astronomer of the Chinese Emperor, a fact that is remembered both in Leuven and in the Observatory of Beijing. China is also now a major academic and scientific partner for Flanders and the Flemish Government has an economic representative in Beijing, Guangzhou and Shanghai. 

The former British and Portuguese colonies of Hong Kong and Macau were reunited with China in the late 1990s under the principle ‘one country, two systems’. Both special autonomous regions had used their own economic and political systems for at least 50 years. In addition, China considers Taiwan to be a rebellious province. By looking at the respective pages you can read more about Flemish relations in these areas.