On December 7, 2004, at the invitation of the rotating President of the European Council and Prime Minister of the Netherlands Jan Peter Balkenende, Premier Wen Jiabao of the State Council arrived at the Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam on a special flight to attend the 7th China-EU Leaders' Meeting in the Hague and to pay a formal visit to the Netherlands.
Dutch Minister of Education, Culture and Science Maria van der Hoeven, Chinese Ambassador to the Netherlands Xue Hanqin and Head of the Chinese Delegation to the EU Guan Chengyuan were at the airport to meet Premier Wen and his delegation.
In a written speech delivered at the airport, Premier Wen said during the 6th China-EU Leaders' Meeting last year, he and EU leaders decided to establish China-EU comprehensive strategic partnership which signifies bilateral relations have entered into a period of mature and stable development. Since China and the Netherlands established diplomatic ties, bilateral relations have been developing continuously. The two sides have fostered productive exchanges and cooperation in such areas as politics, economy, trade, science, technology, agriculture and education. The Chinese government highly prioritizes the development of relations with the EU and the Netherlands. We would like to work with the EU and the Netherlands to consolidate cooperation basis, expand cooperation areas so as to promote a sounder development of bilateral relations.
Premier Wen indicated that he is looking forward to exchanging in-depth views with leaders from the EU and the Netherlands on China-EU and China-Netherlands relations as well as other important international issues of common interest. He believed the visit will definitely yield positive and fruitful results.