State visit to the People’s Republic of China - program
His Majesty King Willem-Alexander and Her Majesty Queen Máxima are to pay a state visit to the People's Republic of China at the invitation of President Xi Jinping. The visit will take place in the last week of October. After Beijing the royal couple will visit the Loess Plateau in Shaanxi province, continuing on to Shanghai and Hangzhou.
The King and Queen will be accompanied by foreign minister Bert Koenders. A broad-based economic mission will also visit China at the same time. As part of the mission, Minister for Agriculture Sharon Dijksma will head an agriculture and food delegation and State Secretary for Health, Welfare and Sport Martin van Rijn a life sciences and health delegation.
China is modernising rapidly. The country is focusing not only on growth itself, but also on the quality of that growth and on the environment. As a strategic partner in a wide range of areas, the Netherlands can help China achieve sustainable urbanisation. During the state visit, attention will focus among other things on farming, the agri-food industry, horticulture and landscape development, e-commerce, sport and design.
President Xi Jinping paid a state visit to the Netherlands in March 2014. Since then, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte and foreign minister Bert Koenders have visited China.
Besides meetings with the authorities and the official events of the state visit, King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima will also visit the Sino-Dutch Dairy Development Centre (SDDDC) just outside Beijing. SDDDC is a dairy farm and research centre where Dutch and Chinese companies work together to develop the Chinese dairy sector.
The royal couple will also attend a football training session where Dutch and Chinese trainers work with young footballers using Dutch methods. China is keen to introduce football training into the primary and secondary school curriculum.
A visit to the 'Next City Living Lab', the Dutch pavilion at Beijing Design Week showcasing innovative solutions for the impact of urbanisation, is also planned. The pavilion is in Dashilar, a traditional district, or hutong, in Beijing, which has been renovated and retains its original structure.
At a lunch reception, the King and Queen will meet Chinese and Dutch representatives from the cultural, civil-society and non-governmental sectors to discuss Sino-Dutch cooperation and exchange. The royal couple will also join a round table meeting of Dutch and Chinese CEOs.
After their visit to Beijing the royal couple will depart for Yan'an in Shaanxi province where they will visit the Loess Plateau, an example of how a landscape that has eroded through the centuries can be restored and once more play a role in the economy. Apple farms have now been established there, which has boosted farmers' income in the region. After attending a presentation by the Institute of Soil and Water Conservation (ISWC) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the King and Queen will tour the area and visit an apple farmer. They will also watch a dance performance in the village of Gaoshishi.
Shanghai and Hangzhou
On arrival in Shanghai the King and Queen will meet the Dutch community in China. They will then visit CELAP, the Chinese national training institute for high-ranking public officials. The King will give a speech, which among other things will address the issue of balanced long-term developments from an administrative perspective.
During a visit to Chongming Island the focus will be on conservation management and recreation in the vicinity of urban centres. The King and Queen will visit a special reserve for migratory birds - a WWF initiative - and a model greenhouse system supplied by Dutch companies. Employing the latest in sustainable technology, greenhouse systems such as this enable an increase in food production in urban environments. The King will then visit the Free Trade Zone and attend a reception with Dutch companies and their Chinese business partners. Queen Máxima will visit Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen's 'The Future of Fashion is Now' exhibition, brought to Shanghai for three months by OCAT (Overseas Chinese Town Art Terminal).
The state visit will end with a visit to the Alibaba campus in Hangzhou. The visit will include Dutch e-commerce initiatives in China, and the official launch of the online sales channel 'Holland Pavilion'. KLM's direct flights between Hangzhou and Amsterdam will also be highlighted.