On the afternoon of December 8, 2004, Premier Wen Jiabao of the State Council, who was on a formal visit to the Netherlands, held talks with Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende.
Prior to the talks, Balkenende held a welcoming ceremony for the visit of Wen Jiabao at the square of his residence, when the Dutch military band played the national anthems of the two countries. Accompanied by Balkenende, Wen inspected the honor guards of the Dutch military.
During the talks, Wen said that currently China-Dutch relations are enjoying good development momentum. Top-level two-way visits between the two countries are frequent, economic and trade cooperation is constantly expanding and new headway has been made in terms of the cooperation in agriculture, science and technology. The Chinese government attaches great importance to developing relations with the Netherlands and stands ready to make joint efforts with the Netherlands to upgrade the level of the bilateral relations. He proposed to enhance the bilateral cooperation from four perspectives:
First, the two sides should have even closer top-level contacts and political consultation at all levels so as to enhance mutual political trust. Second, the two sides should tap the potentials and expand and deepen the economic and trade cooperation. China hopes that Dutch businesses will more actively participate in the development of Western China and the rejuvenation of the old industrial bases in Northwestern China, and China is willing to create more favorable conditions for the exchanges and cooperation between the SMEs of the two sides. Third, the two sides should strengthen agricultural cooperation and continue deploying the model agricultural projects of the Netherlands in China. Fourth, the two sides should promote exchanges and cooperation in the judicial field, high technology, education, culture and medical care, expand the civil basis of the friendly exchanges between the two countries and boost mutual understanding and trust.
Wen made positive comments on the support of the Dutch government for lifting the arms embargo on China and offering China a complete market economy status and for the efforts made by the Netherlands to that end during its rotating EU presidency. Wen also expressed appreciation to the Dutch government for its adherence to the one-China policy.
Balkenende said that China is developing rapidly and the tremendous achievements made by China in various areas should be admired by the world. The Dutch government attaches great importance to strengthening the friendly relations with China, supports efforts by the two foreign ministries to improve their consultation mechanism and hopes that the two sides will constantly expand cooperation in economy & trade, transportation, education, science & technology, agriculture and environmental protection. Balkenende spoke highly of the positive influence of macro-economic control on the sustained and sound development of China's economy. He also reiterated that the Dutch government would adhere to the one-China principle.
Following the talks, Wen and Balkenende attended jointly the signing ceremony for many bilateral cooperation documents between China and the Netherlands.
A number of ministers, such as those responsible for foreign affairs, science & technology, agriculture, commerce and education, attended the talks.