China, Netherlands eye more open, pragmatic cooperation to safeguard multilateralism, free trade

Source: Xinhua| 2018-10-16 00:31:19|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (L) holds talks with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte in The Hague, the Netherlands, Oct. 15, 2018. (Xinhua/Huang Jingwen)

THE HAGUE, Oct. 15 (Xinhua) -- China and the Netherlands on Monday pledged to jointly safeguard multilateralism and free trade by carrying out more open and pragmatic cooperation, against the backdrop of a complicated international situation with increasing uncertainties.

The pledge was made as Chinese Premier Li Keqiang held talks with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte in The Hague.

By doing so, positive signals will be sent to the world that China, the Netherlands as well as Europe are maintaining a rules-based international order and are committed to the facilitation and liberalization of trade and investment, Li said.

On the reform of the World Trade Organization, Li said China is willing to strengthen communication and coordination with the Netherlands on the issue.

The reform should be conducted in accordance with principles of free trade and openness, Li said, adding that it should also preserve the legitimate rights of developing countries and mitigate the North-South divide.

The reform should be non-exclusive and based upon consultations and consensus, rather than being decided by a few countries, he said, noting that it should proceed in an orderly way based on mutual understanding and mutual accommodation.

On climate change, Li said China remains steadfast in upholding the Paris Agreement and will make great efforts to implement its promises, calling on all parties to stick to the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities, and accommodate the legitimate concerns of developing countries.

Hailing the sound development of bilateral ties, Li said China and the Netherlands have maintained close high-level exchanges in recent years.

Chinese President Xi Jinping and Dutch King Willem-Alexander have visited each other's country, which greatly promote the comprehensive cooperative partnership that stresses openness and pragmatism between the two countries, he said.

Li said China is willing to learn the Dutch experience in managing an ageing society and establishing cooperation mechanisms in areas such as urbanization, elder care and clean energy technologies.

The premier said China will deepen reforms and opening-up, and the country is willing to expand cooperation with the Netherlands on all fronts in the spirit of openness and inclusiveness, as well as mutual learning and mutual benefit.

China welcomes Dutch companies to increase investment and share the dividend of China's new round of opening up and high-quality development, Li said.

For his part, Rutte said the Netherlands attaches great importance to its ties with China and is willing to strengthen political trust and deepen practical cooperation between the two countries.

He said the Netherlands looks forward to tapping potentials for cooperation in areas including circular economy, urbanization and smart city with China and expand cooperation in third-party markets.

The Netherlands stands ready to work with China on global issues such as combating climate change, as well as sharing experience in elder care, personnel training and e-health against the background of an ageing society, Rutte said.

The Netherlands also would like to strengthen communication and coordination with China in multilateral mechanisms such as the United Nations and the G20, Rutte said, adding that the two countries are jointly committed to preserving rules-based multilateralism and free trade.

The two sides also exchanged opinions on international and regional issues of common concern.

After the talks, Li and Rutte witnessed the signing of documents of bilateral cooperation in areas including economy, trade, finance, energy and agriculture.

Li arrived here Sunday for a three-day official visit to the Netherlands, the first by a Chinese premier in 14 years. It is also Li's first trip to the European country as the Chinese premier.

During his stay, the premier will meet with Dutch King Willem-Alexander. He is also set to visit a hi-tech exhibition and address a business forum in The Hague on Tuesday.

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