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Hu Jintao Meets with the Prime Minister of the Netherlands

  On the afternoon of April 7th, 2004, Chinese President Hu Jintao met in the Great Hall of the People with the Prime Minister of the Netherlands Jan Peter Balkenende.

  Hu Jintao said since the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and the Netherlands, bilateral relations have been developing continuously. In recent years, exchanges between the leaderships in the two countries have been enhanced and political mutual trust has been expanded. Bilateral cooperation in economic and trade spheres has been developing smoothly and remarkable achievements have been scored. The differences in the national conditions of China and the Netherlands have never been a barrier for the two sides to conduct exchanges and cooperation in various fields on the basis of such principles as mutual respect, treating each other as equals, seeking common grounds while putting aside differences as well as mutual complementarity with each other's advantages. The Chinese government attaches great importance to China-Netherlands relations and would like to make joint efforts with the Netherlands in developing a long-term and stable friendly relationship of cooperation between the two countries in the new century. Hu Jintao congratulated the Netherlands on its forthcoming assumption of the EU presidency and wished the Netherlands could play an active part in promoting the further development of China-EU relations. He indicated that the comprehensive strategic partnership between China and the EU would definitely develop to a new height with concerted efforts of the two sides.

  Mr. Balkenende thanked President Hu Jintao for meeting with him. He said political mutual trust and economic complimentarity are important features of Netherlands-China relations. Over the years, the two countries have conducted wonderful cooperation in a wide range of areas, such as economy and trade, education, politics as well as agriculture. Dialogue on human rights has also scored positive results. The Netherlands is satisfied with the development of bilateral relations. He noted China was undergoing tremendous changes and was playing an increasingly important role in international affairs. Under the new circumstances, Netherlands-China relations and EU-China relations appear more important than ever. The Netherlands will make active efforts in enhancing bilateral relations as well as EU-China strategic partnership.

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