Xiao Wang meets King at state dinner

Another surreal experience for 'Holland's Got Talent' Wang. He attended a state dinner, where he met the King and the Chinese president.

All internationals have adventures while living abroad, but Xiao Wang, a 31-year-old PhD candidate in economics from China, has had a lot of truly crazy moments since he has been working at the RUG. Not only was he a contestant on Holland’s Got Talent, but on 22 March, he was a guest at the state dinner for President Xi Jinping of China at the Royal Palace in Amsterdam.

‘It’s beyond imagination, really. It’s like a dream, but it was real,’ he says, laughing. ‘I received an email about the invitation first, but it was in Dutch, so I assigned my Dutch friends to call back and confirm it.’


After he received his formal invitation and arrived at the white tie affair, Wang even had a chance to speak with King Willem-Alexander. ‘I spoke for about 5 to 10 minutes with the king about the history of the Ming dynasty, and he told me he thought President Xi is an open-minded man.’
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While Wang is an economics PhD candidate in Groningen, he became nationally famous last November when he auditioned for ‘Holland’s Got Talent’, singing the aria ‘La Donna è Mobile’ by Verdi. Wang’s performance was excellent, but it became infamous due to racist jokes made by Gordon, one of the judges. Even though that is Wang’s greatest claim to fame, he believes that his academic background was also part of the reason for his invitation.


‘I’m not quite sure the specific reasons I was invited. I think that maybe it was because I am one of the Chinese PhD students studying here, and also maybe because I brought good singing to the people here’, he says. In any case, he didn’t perform at the palace for President Xi Jinping. ‘I didn’t sing’, he laughs. ‘I just attended the banquet and enjoyed the meal and the conversation with other guests.’