Joint Statement between the People’s Republic of China and the Kingdom of the Netherlands on the Establishment of an Open and Pragmatic Partnership for Comprehensive Cooperation

At the invitation of H.M. King Willem-Alexander of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, H.E. President Xi Jinping of the People’s Republic of China paid a state visit to the Kingdom of the Netherlands from 22 to 24 March 2014. This is the first visit to the Netherlands by China’s Head of State since the formal establishment of diplomatic relations at ambassadorial level between the two countries in 1972.

During his visit, H.E. President Xi Jinping met with H.M. King Willem-Alexander, held talks with H.E. Prime Minister Mark Rutte, and met with President of the Senate Ms Ankie Broekers-Knol and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Ms Anouchka van Miltenburg. The two sides had in-depth exchange of views on China-Netherlands relations, China-EU relations and other issues of common interest. The two sides agreed to issue the following statement, reaffirming their commitment to strenghtening their cooperation as set out in their Joint Statement on the Strenghtening of Bilateral Cooperation between their Ministers of Foreign Affairs in 2007.

I. Both sides acknowledge the substantial progress in the bilateral relations and the growing and fruitful bilateral cooperation between the two countries, which is wide-ranging, large in scale and characterised by strong internal momentum.

II. The two sides decide to establish an open and pragmatic partnership for comprehensive cooperation. They note that the Netherlands is one of China’s main cooperation partners in Europe, and has been China’s second-largest trading partner within the EU for 11 consecutive years, since 2003. Both sides believe that a new definition of their bilateral relations will further promote ties between China and the Netherlands, and lead to win-win cooperation that benefits both countries and peoples.

III. The two sides agree to maintain the momentum of high-level exchanges and consultations. They underline the leading role of such exchanges in the promotion of mutual understanding and trust, and the further development of bilateral relations based on equality and mutual respect. The Netherlands side reaffirms its adherence to its one-China policy.

IV. Both sides emphasize the importance to give full play to the unique advantages of the Netherlands as the gateway to Europe as well as the advanced and comprehensive connectivity between China and the Netherlands on the European and Asian continents, and of further expanding China-Netherlands trade and investment in an open, fair and non-discriminatory manner. Both sides acknowledge the importance of creating a level playing field and providing market access. In addition to existing cooperation, both sides stand ready to expand cooperation in traditional areas such as agriculture, food, water, petro-chemicals and logistics as well as in emerging industries such as high-end manufacturing, energy conservation and environmental protection, smart cities, financial services and creative industries, and to encourage their enterprises to jointly develop third-party markets, including markets outside the European and Asian continents, with a view to further building comprehensive, closer, long-term and innovative economic and trade cooperation between China and the Netherlands. Both sides reiterate their consistent commitment to free trade and their opposition to protectionism and recognize the importance of responsible business practices in both their home and third markets. Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) were signed on important areas of bilateral cooperation during President Xi’s state visit.

V. Both sides stand ready to expand people-to-people exchanges, strengthen mutual learning, further promote exchanges and cooperation in culture, education, science, tourism and sports, increase the number of student exchanges, jointly train high-calibre professionals, provide more opportunities for youth exchanges and continuously enhance mutual understanding and friendship between the two peoples and provide the appropriate facilities and infrastructures to facilitate this.

VI. The two sides reaffirm their commitment to the promotion and protection of human rights. The two sides agree to deepen exchanges on human rights at the bilateral and international level on the basis of equality and mutual respect and to strengthen their human rights dialogue with constructive consultations on jointly agreed key priority areas.

VII. Both sides are committed to promoting the development of the China-EU comprehensive strategic partnership. The two sides are committed to making full use of the existing mechanisms to strengthen communication, handling trade frictions through dialogue and consultation as a preferred option, and, if needed, through negotiations, with an objective of finding mutually beneficial solutions.

VIII. As members of the United Nations, the two sides stand for respecting the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations and the authority and role of the United Nations. Both sides fully support a fair, just and rules-based multilateral system and the leading role of the United Nations in addressing global issues, safeguarding world peace, promoting common development and advancing international cooperation and peaceful settlement of international disputes which are likely to endanger the maintenance of international peace and security.

Both sides affirm their commitment to close coordination and cooperation within the UN and other international organizations and on international affairs, and to supporting the development of developing nations, particularly the least developed countries. They also agree to explore the possibilities to further strengthen exchanges and cooperation in anti-terrorism and anti-piracy endeavours, and are pleased with one another’s active role as contributors of personnel to the peacekeeping missions of the United Nations. Both sides welcome the cooperation between the two countries in the framework of the peacekeeping missions of the United Nations.