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Netizens welcome Prince William to China

2015-03-03 08:47 Xinhua Web Editor: Gu Liping

When Britain's Prince William arrived in Beijing on Sunday for his first visit to China, the Chinese public seemed to be as interested in British TV shows and royal weddings as his historic visit.

Some netizens came over all nostalgic about the prince's royal wedding to Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, which made headlines in China in 2011. The duchess remained in the UK as she is pregnant with the couple's second child.

While others, unfazed by the prince's love story, used William's visit to renew calls for the return of Chinese cultural relics stolen by Britain and other imperialist powers in history.

Many just wanted the prince to use his power to expedite the next season of the BBC's Sherlock series.

The four day tour, the highest profile visit by a member of the royal family to China since Queen Elizabeth II's tour in 1986, will take the Duke of Cambridge to Beijing, Shanghai and southwestern Yunnan Province.

The Chinese people are familiar with the faraway island country thanks to its TV shows, such as Sherlock Holmes and Downton Abbey, which have helped to maintain the nation's interest in learning English and overseas study.

For years, the Chinese people have shown great interest in news relating to the British royal family. Even in the 1990s, the pre-Internet era, they paid great attention to the death of late Princess Diana, William's mother, and other royal love stories.

"I watched the live coverage of [William and Kate's] wedding with my mom after school. I loved it," said web user Little piggy from the South.

Contrasting the positive messages, indignation was seen online after comments in Monday's news that Prince William toured the Palace Museum, also known as the Forbidden City, in Beijing.

The Forbidden City was once home to China's emperors and was the highest center of power from 1420 to 1911. However, it is also synonymous with the corruption of the Qing Dynasty, which partly led to decades of invasion by Britain and other powers.

Wang Yiwei of the Renmin University of China said that although the British Royal family plays a non-political role, it remains symbolic of British culture and tradition.

Thus, Wang said, as William had shown more interest in China's younger generation, it can be taken to represent the shifting view of British society toward China.

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