Prince William focuses on football and film on China trip

AP News
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Posted: Mar 02, 2015 10:54 PM
Prince William focuses on football and film on China trip

SHANGHAI (AP) — Britain's Prince William focused his China trip on football and film Tuesday with an agenda including a movie premiere and an appointment to watch Premier League-trained coaches kicking balls around with students.

The second-in-line to the throne is on a three-day trip to China on behalf of the U.K. government to open a festival celebrating British creativity and innovation, the first major event in a year of cultural exchange between the countries.

As well as pushing Britain's creative industries, he is aiming to forge business relationships between Britain and China.

After arriving in Shanghai Monday evening, he opened the GREAT festival, which showcases entertainment, design, health care and fashion, and met with Chinese business leaders, including Jack Ma, an English teacher-turned-founder of e-commerce giant Alibaba.

On Tuesday, he toured the exhibits, which involve British companies such as British Airways and Jaguar Land Rover.

He was scheduled to watch secondary school students train with Premier League-trained coaches as part of a British program, and to mark the addition of football to the Chinese school curriculum.

On Monday in Beijing, William met President Xi Jinping, and told him: "I also gather you're quite a football fan."

Chinese media reported that Xi told William that he wanted to learn from traditionally strong footballing nations, such as England.

On Tuesday evening, the prince was set to meet Chinese film industry figures and attend the China premiere of "Paddington," a British-French film based on a book about a bear who is found at London's Paddington Station and taken in by a family.

On Wednesday, his China trip winds up in Xishuangbanna in Yunnan province near the Myanmar border, where he will visit an elephant sanctuary and a nature reserve.

William arrived in Beijing late Sunday after a four-day stay in Japan. Interest in his visit among Chinese is limited without the presence of wife Kate, who is expecting their second child next month.

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Watt reported from Beijing.