King Willem-Alexander on Monday told Chinese president Xi Jinping that the Netherlands disagrees with his country’s human rights policy.
The king made the comment during a banquet in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing during his state visit to China.
Without going into specific cases, the king said that human rights is one of the subjects on which the Netherlands and China have a difference of opinion, Dutch media report.
He went on to praise the way China has developed to the benefit of the whole world, and not least the Netherlands and Rotterdam.
He talked of the need to increase the already close ties and praised the dialogue between the two countries, not only on matters of agreement but also on differences of opinion, ‘such as human rights’.
The text for the speech was not approved by the Chinese authorities beforehand, according to the NRC.
Amnesty International director Eduard Nazarksi said he was pleased with what the king said. ‘It is positive that he said this in public and it shows that trade and human rights can be dealt with together,’ he told broadcaster Nos.
Queen Máxima, who is suffering from a kidney infection, attended the state banquet, her only public appearance on the second day of the royal visit.