Backgrounder: King of the Netherlands Willem-Alexander

Source: Xinhua| 2018-02-07 16:52:25|Editor: Chengcheng
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BEIJING, Feb. 7 (Xinhua) -- Dutch King Willem-Alexander will pay a working visit to China from Feb. 7 to 8, at the invitation of Chinese President Xi Jinping.

The visit is the king's second visit to China since he ascended the throne in April 2013, following the abdication of his mother, Queen Beatrix.

Although in practice the monarch's role is largely ceremonial, the Dutch King is officially the head of state and, together with the ministers, makes up the government.

Based on the momentum built during his first visit to China in 2015, the king's visit is set to bolster bilateral relations.

After arriving in China, the king and the queen Maxima will be briefed at the residence of the Dutch Ambassador by several experts on Chinese politics, the economy and the Belt and Road Initiative, according to a statement issued by the royal house.

"Both countries depend on the sooth functioning of global trade, which requires frequent contacts and ongoing cooperation," said the statement.

During his Europe tour in 2014, Xi visited the Netherlands and met the king. Then in 2015, the Dutch royal couple made their first official trip to China.

Willem-Alexander was born in 1967. He then went to public primary and secondary schools, served in the Royal Netherlands Navy, and studied history at Leiden University from 1987 to 1993.

His main interests are sports and international water management.

He served member of the International Olympic Committee (1998-2013), chairman of the Advisory Committee on Water to the Dutch Minister of Infrastructure and the Environment (2004-2013) and chairman of the UN Secretary-General's Advisory Board on Water and Sanitation (2006-2013). He had to lay down all these official functions after becoming King.

Willem-Alexander has three daughters and his eldest child, Princess Catharina-Amalia, the first heir to the throne, has been learning Chinese since 2016.