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China, Netherlands vow to expand mutual investment, oppose trade protectionism

THE HAGUE, May 17 – China and the Netherlands on Tuesday agreed to expand their mutual investment and oppose trade protectionism to seek closer trade ties.

“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 visiting Chinese top legislator Wu Bangguo during a meeting here with caretaker Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte.

The meeting took place after Wu, chairman of the Standing Committee of China’s National People’s Congress (NPC), arrived in Amsterdam for an official goodwill visit, the first one by a Chinese top legislator to the Netherlands.

Sino-Dutch trade reached 68.2 billion U.S. dollars in 2011, up by 21 percent from the previous year. The Netherlands is now China’s second largest trading partner and third largest foreign investment source within the EU.

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, tap potentials for further cooperation in areas such as high-end manufacturing, new energy, environmental protection, finance and insurance,” he said.

During the meeting, the Chinese top legislator also suggested China and the Netherlands keep high-level visits, respect each other’s core interests and maintain exchanges in areas such as culture, education, technology and tourism.

Rutte said the Netherlands opposes and rejects trade protectionism of any form, and invited more Chinese enterprises to invest in the country.

Rutte offered resignation last month after budget talks collapsed. The Dutch parliament has decided fresh elections will be held in September.

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The Dutch side sticks to one-China policy and 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, tourism and culture.

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 to facilitate China-EU comprehensive strategic partnership, he said.

On Wednesday, Wu held talks with the presidents of the First and Second Chamber of Dutch parliament Fred de Graaf and Gerdi Verbeet in The Hague and exchanged views with them on how to deepen parliamentary exchanges.

The Netherlands is the first stop of Wu’s four-European nation tour, which will also take him to Croatia, Luxembourg and Spain. (Xinhua)


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