On March 22 local time, President Xi Jinping met with King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands in Amsterdam. On arrival at the Royal Palace, Xi Jinping and his wife Madame Peng Liyuan were warmly received by King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima. The two sides had an amiable and friendly talk.
King Willem-Alexander warmly welcomed Xi Jinping to visit the Netherlands. He spoke highly of the development of the Netherlands-China relations. He said that the Dutch royal family has maintained friendly exchanges with China for a long time, and his mother Queen Beatrix Wilhelmina Armgard visited China several times in her rein. The Netherlands is willing to be a good partner of China and hopes to strengthen the bilateral practical cooperation and people-to-people and cultural exchanges. He believes that this historic visit paid by President Xi Jinping to the Netherlands will surely promote the further development of the Netherlands-China relations.
Xi Jinping said that the Netherlands is one of the first Western countries that recognized the People's Republic of China (PRC). Both the scale and level of China-Netherlands cooperation rank the forefront in China-Europe cooperation. The Netherlands has remained China's second biggest trading partner for 11 consecutive years in the European Union (EU), and also the third largest source of the foreign direct investment (FDI) in the EU. Excluding the EU, China is the Netherlands' largest trading partner and the second largest source of FDI. This is because both peoples share the virtue of hardworking, the spirit of being practical and the innovative thinking.
Xi Jinping said, China is now comprehensively deepening reform, expanding the opening-up and striding forward to achieve the two "Centenary Goals", which will be of great benefit to both the Netherlands and the rest of the world. We welcome the Netherlands to actively participate in this process, sharing the opportunities of China's development and promoting the common prosperity and progress. We are willing to learn the advanced technology and management experience from the Netherlands. I hope, through this visit, chart the course together with the Dutch leaders for the future development of the bilateral relations so as to push forward China-Netherlands relations to a new high and make new contributions to China-Europe relationship.
Xi Jinping appreciated King Willem-Alexander's long-time dedication to China-Netherlands friendship, especially his promotion for bilateral cooperation in water conservancy with his own professional knowledge in this area. He believed that the Dutch royal family will continue to make contributions to the development of the bilateral relations.
The two sides exchanged views on financial service, anti-terrorism combat and other topics. Both sides agreed that China and the Netherlands should strengthen cooperation and jointly cope with the global challenges.
In the evening, King Willem-Alexander held a grand state banquet in the Royal Palace for Xi Jinping. The Royal Palace was lit with shining crystal lamps and decorated with blooming tulips. King Willem-Alexander, Queen Máxima, and former Queen Beatrix welcomed the arrival of Xi Jinping and his wife Peng Liyuan. The two heads of state shook hands with and exchanged greetings to the guests present.
At the banquet, King Willem-Alexander delivered a passionate speech, saying that the Dutch people feel greatly honored by President Xi Jinping's visit. China is an ancient country, yet full of vigor. The Chinese people are diligent and intelligent, and are striving to realize the Chinese Dream. China's development is of paramount importance to the world peace and prosperity. The Netherlands cherishes its friendship with China, and is willing to join hands with China for the cooperation in the process of realizing beautiful dreams of both countries.
Xi Jinping said in his speech, Upon stepping on the land of the Netherlands, we felt the friendship of the Dutch people towards the Chinese people. Though located separately at the opposite ends of the Eurasian Continent, China and the Netherlands share a long history of communication, and have set a typical model of achieving common prosperity through mutual learning between the Eastern and Western civilizations. Entering the 21st century, China is more closely connected with the Netherlands and the Europe as a whole. The Netherlands is the gateway to the Europe, and I choose to push open the door of Europe through the Netherlands. Europe is an important pole in the multi-polar world. China has always viewed China-Europe relations from a strategic height, and is willing to strengthen the all-dimensional cooperation with Europe. It is hoped that the Netherlands will make new and even greater contributions to the development of China-Europe relations.
The banquet was immersed in a warm and friendly atmosphere all the way.
Wang Huning, Li Zhanshu, Yang Jiechi and others were present at the banquet.