BEIJING, Dec. 7 (Xinhua) -- At the invitation of Chinese President Xi Jinping, German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier paid a state visit to China, which lasts from Dec. 5 to 10.
Steinmeier was born in January 1956 in Detmold, a city in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany.
Steinmeier studied law and politics at the Justus Liebig University Giessen from 1976 to 1982. He carried out his practical legal training in Frankfurt and Giessen from 1983 to 1986. He worked as an assistant to the professor of Public Law and Political Science at Giessen University from 1986 to 1991.
From 1991 to 1993, Steinmeier became a legal adviser for communication law and media policy in the State Chancellery of Lower Saxony. He went on to serve as chief of staff of then Prime Minister of Lower Saxony Gerhard Schroeder from 1993 to 1994.
From 1994 to 1996, Steinmeier headed the Lower Saxony's State Chancellery's inter-agency and planning department. From 1996 to 1998, he served as a state secretary and head of the Lower Saxony State Chancellery.
Steinmeier was appointed state secretary of the Federal Chancellery and Commissioner for the Federal Intelligence Services in 1998 and held the position until 1999.
From 1999 to 2005, Steinmeier was chief of staff of the Federal Chancellery.
Steinmeier served as federal minister of foreign affairs from 2005 to 2007. From 2007 to 2009, he served as vice-chancellor and as foreign minister. From 2009 to 2013, Steinmeier served as head of the Social Democrats' parliamentary group.
Steinmeier was again appointed as federal minister of foreign affairs in 2013 and held the position till 2017. In February 2017, Steinmeier was elected as the 12th president of Germany.
Steinmeier visited China as federal minister of foreign affairs in February 2006, June 2008, April 2014 and April 2016. In June 2016, he accompanied German Chancellor Angela Merkel on her trip to China for the fourth round of the China-Germany inter-governmental consultation.
Steinmeier is married and has one daughter.