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Chinese president meets Dutch king, calls for closer cooperation on B&R construction

Xinhua | Updated: 2018-02-07 23:36

BEIJING - China and the Netherlands on Wednesday agreed to carry out more mutually beneficial cooperation through joint implementation of the Belt and Road Initiative in 2018.

The agreement was reached between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Dutch King Willem-Alexander during their meeting in Beijing.

The president welcomed the royal couple's visit, from Feb. 7 to 8, ahead of the upcoming Chinese New Year.

Xi recalled his state visit to the Netherlands in 2014, when the two sides set up an open and practical China-Netherlands comprehensive cooperative partnership.

"Through joint efforts by both sides, the consensus we reached and the outcomes of our mutual visits have been implemented," said Xi, noting that bilateral relations have entered the best period in history.

He lauded the growing political mutual trust, mutual respect of each other's core interests and major concerns, as well as the fruitful cooperation in trade, investment, innovation and culture between the two countries.

China-Netherlands relations are currently at a new starting point, said Xi, suggesting the two sides carry out more mutually beneficial cooperation through the Belt and Road construction.

For his part, King Willem-Alexander extended his Chinese New Year's greetings to President Xi and the Chinese people.

He wished China more achievements in the new year and new development in bilateral ties.

Congratulating on the success of the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, the Dutch king said China has a bright future for its development.

The Netherlands has always attached great importance to developing relations with China, he said, adding the Netherlands would like to actively participate in the Belt and Road construction.

He said the Netherlands is willing to participate in the first China International Import Expo, which is slated to be held in Shanghai from Nov. 5 to 10 this year.

The Netherlands hopes to enhance cooperation with China in international and regional affairs, the king said.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang also met with the Dutch monarch on Wednesday.

Li said the Netherlands is a world leader in terms of agriculture and agricultural technology, port logistics and port management.

China is willing to enhance cooperation with the Netherlands in the aforementioned areas, expand bilateral trade, strengthen the exchange of technology, facilitate customs clearance, and better dovetail the Belt and Road Initiative with Dutch development plans, said Li.

Saying that the relations between the Netherlands and China are at their best time in history, the king noted that his country is China's third-largest trade partner within the European Union and can serve as China's gateway to the European Union.

He encouraged China to expand investment in the Netherlands, calling for more trade exchanges and cooperation on agriculture, logistics and transportation between the two countries and advancing two-way opening of their markets.

This is the Dutch king's second visit to China since he ascended the throne in April 2013, following the abdication of his mother, Queen Beatrix.

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