The LeidenAsiaCentre was officially launched on 27 January. The attendees were welcomed by executive director Prof. Frank Pieke who gave a short presentation about the aims, activities and approach of the Centre. This was followed by two inspired speeches by prof. Sebastian Heilmann, Director of the Mercator Institute for China Studies in Berlin (MERCIS) and professor Political Economy of China at the University of Trier, and Dr Ben Knapen, member of the Dutch Senate, respectively.
King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima attended a meeting at Leiden University on 1 October to prepare for their state visit to China. China experts informed them about such topics as the image that Chinese people have of the Netherlands.