23 June 2015, Beijing. On June 23, 2015, Geely Holding Group and Chairman Eric Li had the honour of welcoming H.M. King Philippe and H.M. Queen Mathilde of Belgium on a visit to Geely University in Beijing. The King and Queen’s stopover was part of an official state visit to China to mark the 40th anniversary of the establishment of Sino-Belgian and Sino-EU diplomatic relations and was the first ever visit of a foreign state leader to a privately-funded university in China.

On a tour of the campus in the company of Chairman Li, the royal couple spoke of how impressed they were by Geely University students’ work, which included everything from paintings and calligraphy to films and single-seater race car prototypes. They also met Volvo Cars China’s three Belgian executives: general manager of the firm’s Daqing plant, Benoit Demeunyck; general manager of the Chengdu plant, Luc Semeese; and vice president of marketing, Sven De Smet. The King and Queen ended the tour by planting a Tree of Friendship with Chairman Li in front of the Geely University Library as a symbol of the continued strong relations between Belgium and China.

King Philippe and Queen Mathilde were returning the visit to Belgium of Chinese President Xi Jinping and First Lady Peng Liyuan in April 2014. Mirroring the royal couple’s visit to Geely University this year, President Xi and the First Lady had stopped off at Volvo Cars’ Ghent plant, where they witnessed the unveiling of the 30,000th Volvo vehicle to be exported to China.

Chinese President Xi Jinping & H.M. King Philippe of Belgium unveil the 30,000th vehicle to be exported to China, April 1, 2014

Geely Holding Group has invested billions of yuan in its commitment to linking industry and education, establishing Beijing Geely University, Sanya University, Zhejiang Automotive Vocational & Technical College and Hunan Geely Auto College. Geely Holding Group sees over 10,000 of its graduates start their careers each year.