Published: 11:41, August 24, 2022 | Updated: 11:41, August 24, 2022
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Li pledges to boost ties with Netherlands
By Xu Wei

Countries agree to further strengthen personnel exchanges, step up dialogue

China and the Netherlands have pledged stronger cooperation in economy, trade, agriculture and their response to climate change as the heads of the governments of the two countries held a meeting via video link on Tuesday.

In their second virtual meeting this year, Premier Li Keqiang and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte agreed to further promote bilateral personnel exchanges and enhance dialogue and communication in various sectors. Li had a video conference with Rutte on Jan 26, weeks after the latter was reelected as Dutch prime minister.

Li noted that both China and the Netherlands are open economies and key cooperative partners.

With this year marking the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and the Netherlands, Li called on both sides to enable their open and pragmatic bilateral comprehensive cooperative partnership to yield greater outcomes and bring more benefits to people of both countries.

The Netherlands is China's second-largest trading partner in the European Union, with bilateral trade reaching $116.4 billion in 2021, up by 26.9 percent year-on-year, according to China's Foreign Ministry.

China's exports to the Netherlands surged 25.2 percent year-on-year in the first seven months of this year to $74.54 billion, while its imports from the Netherlands dropped by 12.2 percent year-on-year, according to the General Administration of Customs.

China stands ready to bolster strategic mutual trust with the Netherlands, carry forward complementary strengths, tap into the potential for cooperation and step up dialogue and cooperation, Li said.

The premier called for both sides to properly manage differences on the basis of mutual respect and equal treatment, saying that China welcomes more high-quality agricultural produce from the Netherlands.

Li expressed readiness to increase the number of direct flights between the two countries while putting in place sound epidemic prevention measures to promote bilateral personnel exchanges.

He added that stable ties and cooperation between the two nations not only benefit both sides, but also help to promote the healthy and steady growth of relations between China and the EU.

Rutte spoke of the special relationship between China and the Netherlands, saying that the bilateral friendship has been deepened in a continuous manner.

He called for stronger cooperation in trade, transport, agriculture and the response to climate change and heightened personnel exchanges to promote bilateral and multilateral dialogue and communication in different sectors.