Koenders in China

Foreign minister Bert Koenders will be paying a visit to the Chinese capital Beijing on Thursday 18 and Friday 19 June at the invitation of his Chinese opposite number, Wang Yi. Mr Koenders said, ‘Our ties with China go back many centuries and in recent years they have rapidly deepened and broadened. China is one of the Netherlands’ main trading partners. It is also raising its international profile as a major player in the economic, commercial and political arenas.’

Mr Koenders and his Chinese counterpart will discuss a range of topics including security and peacekeeping. The agenda will also include relations between the European Union and China, particularly in the light of the EU-China summit due to take place at the end of June. During his visit, Mr Koenders will also talk about the human rights situation in China.

Mr Koenders sees China as playing an increasingly prominent role on the world stage. He will deliver a speech about the importance of UN peacekeeping missions and will also address international troops on Veterans’ Day. ‘The Netherlands attaches great value to strengthening the UN's peacekeeping missions. China has an important role to play here, both as a member of the Security Council and as provider of troops,’ the minister said. He added, ‘We are already working together in Mali. I hope that China will continue and extend this involvement.’

During his visit, Mr Koenders will meet with deputy minister Chen Fengxiang of the International Department of the Communist Party Central Committee, CPC. Topics will include the 13th Five-Year Plan currently in preparation for 2016-2020, about the way in which China intends to promote the rule of law. Mr Koenders will also meet with Chinese government adviser Yang Jiechi. Sustainable urbanisation will be one of the topics to be discussed. ‘More and more people are moving to cities, both in the Netherlands and in China. We are facing shared challenges. The Netherlands and China have a lot to offer each other in this area, not only commercially but also in terms of knowledge,’ said Mr Koenders. At the end of his visit, Mr Koenders will also visit the National Museum in Beijing to see ‘The Road to Rejuvenation’, an exhibition that gives insight into recent Chinese history.