On the afternoon of May 15, local time, Wu Bangguo, chairman of the Standing Committee of China's National People's Congress (NPC), who is on an official goodwill visit to the Netherlands, met with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte in the prime minister's office.
Wu said that since the establishment of diplomatic relations at ambassadorial level 40 years ago, bilateral relations have developed smoothly in general and are now in the best period of history. Sino-Dutch trade and economic cooperation is also in the forefront of China-EU cooperation. China regards the Netherlands as an important partner, appreciates the Netherlands' adherence to the one-China principle and supports it to play a greater role the European Union and international affairs. Facts have proved that a healthy and stable Sino-Dutch relationship conforms to the common interests of the two countries and peoples.
Wu said Sino-Dutch relations have huge development potential and broad prospects, expressing hope that both sides will jointly push bilateral relations to a higher level. To this end, Wu Bangguo put forward three proposals. First, both sides should maintain the momentum of high-level exchanges and further strengthen the friendly exchanges between the governments, parliaments and political parties. He urged both sides to have in-depth exchange of views on issues of common concern, respect each other's core interests, deepen political mutual trust and consolidate the political foundation of Sino-Dutch relations. Second, both sides should optimize trade environment and expand two-way investment. "China will provide more stable, transparent, standard and efficient investment environment for foreign enterprises. At the same time, we expect the Dutch side to offer more convenience for the Chinese enterprises," said Wu. Wu stressed coordination between the two countries on fighting against trade protectionism, saying they should work together to promote less and cautious use of trade remedy measures by the European Union (EU). "The two countries should make use of their own advantages in technologies and market, tap potentials for further cooperation in areas such as high-end manufacturing, new energy, environmental protection, finance and insurance and strive to foster new growth areas of bilateral economic and trade cooperation," he said. Third, both sides should further deepen humanities exchanges, implement a new round of MoUs on cultural, education, scientific and technological cooperation, enhance tourism cooperation and build up understanding and friendship between both peoples through colorful and diverse forms of exchange activities so as to cement the public opinion basis of state relations.
Rutte said relations with China are a priority of the Dutch foreign policy. The Dutch side sticks to the one-China policy and takes it as a cornerstone of its China policy. The Netherlands is willing to develop relations with China on the basis of equality and mutual respect, the prime minister said, underlining bilateral cooperation on trade, environment, and culture, especially on agriculture, high technology and new energy. Rutte said the Netherlands opposes and rejects trade protectionism of any form, and invited more Chinese enterprises to invest in the country. He suggested both sides expand mutual investment and deepen humanities exchanges. He also welcomed more tourists from China.
On China-EU relations, Wu said that China has always taken developing China-EU relations as an important strategic direction in its foreign policy and supported the European integration process. The Netherlands, as a founding member of the EU and eurozone, has played a unique role in the European integration process and China-EU relations, said Wu. China is willing to enhance consultations with the Netherlands on deepening China-EU cooperation to enrich China-EU comprehensive strategic partnership, he said. Rutte said that the Netherlands is willing to continue to play a constructive role in pushing the EU to develop ties with China with a more open attitude and create good conditions for the in-depth development of Sino-European relations.
Wu Bangguo also conveyed the cordial greetings from Premier Wen Jiabao to Rutte, who expressed his thanks and asked Wu to convey his good wishes to Premier Wen.
Vice Chairman and Secretary-General of the NPC Standing Committee Li Jianguo and Maxime Verhagen, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation of the Netherlands, were present at the meeting.
In the evening, commissioned by Chairman Wu Bangguo, Vice Chairman and Secretary-General of the NPC Standing Committee Li Jianguo attended a reception marking the 40th anniversary of the establishment of Sino-Dutch diplomatic relations at ambassadorial level held by the Chinese Embassy in the Netherlands.