THE HAGUE, March 23 (Xinhua) -- China and the Netherlands decided on Sunday to build an open and pragmatic partnership for comprehensive cooperation, according to a joint statement issued by the two countries.
The decision was made at a meeting between visiting Chinese President Xi Jinping and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, during which the two leaders exchanged in-depth views on bilateral and China-EU relations, and reached important consensus in this regard.
The two sides noted 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, the statement said.
Both sides believed that a new definition of their bilateral relations would further promote ties between China and the Netherlands, and lead to win-win cooperation that benefits both countries and peoples, the statement said.
The two sides agreed to maintain the momentum of high-level exchanges and consultations, underlining 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 trust.
The Netherlands side, the statement noted, reaffirmed its adherence to its one-China policy.
Meanwhile, both sides emphasized 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, according to the statement.
Both sides acknowledged the importance of creating a level playing field and providing market access, said the statement.
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, said the statement.
Both sides reiterated 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.
Moreover, 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, said the statement.
The two sides reaffirmed their commitment to the promotion and protection of human rights, agreeing 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, the statement noted.
On China-EU relations, both sides are committed to promoting the development of the China-EU comprehensive strategic partnership, said the statement.
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.
The statement also stressed commitment of both countries to 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, said the statement.
Both sides affirmed 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 agreed to explore the possibilities to further strengthen exchanges and cooperation in anti-terrorism and anti-piracy endeavors, and are pleased with one another's active role as contributors of personnel to the peace-keeping missions of the United Nations.
Both sides welcomed the cooperation between the two countries in the framework of the peacekeeping mission of the United Nations.
Xi arrived in the Netherlands Saturday for a state visit, the first one ever made by a Chinese president to the western European country since the two nations established diplomatic ties in 1972 .
The Netherlands is the first leg of Xi's European tour, which will also take him to France, Germany and Belgium.