China and Kingdom of the Netherlands
In 2010, relations between the People's Republic of China and the Kingdom of the Netherlands continued to enjoy steady and healthy development, with deepening exchanges and cooperation in various fields.
High-level contacts were frequent and political mutual trust further strengthened. From 15 to 18 September, Liu Qi, Member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and Secretary of the CPC Beijing Municipal Committee, visited the Netherlands and met with Prince Willem Alexander and René van der Linden, President of the First Chamber (Senate) of the States-General of the Netherlands. From 31 April to 2 May, Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende attended the opening ceremony of the Shanghai World Expo and met with President Hu Jintao. From 17 to 19 May, Prince Willem Alexander attended the activities of the Netherlands' National Pavilion Day at the Shanghai World Expo. In the wake of the earthquake in Yushu, Qinghai and the mudslide in Zhouqu, Gansu, Queen Beatrix Wilhelmina Armgard, Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende and Foreign Minister Maxime Verhagen sent messages of sympathy to President Hu Jintao, Premier Wen Jiabao and Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi respectively. Following the formation of the new cabinet on 14 October 2010, Prime Minister Mark Rutte affirmed on many occasions that the new government of the Netherlands would maintain its commitment to the one China policy and the stability and continuity of its China policy. The foreign ministries of China and the Netherlands held political consultations in April and September.
Economic cooperation and trade kept rapid development momentum. Trade volume between the two countries grew continuously. The Netherlands remained China's second largest trading partner in the EU for the 8th year consecutively. Bilateral cooperation was fruitful in water resources management, new energy development, agriculture, energy conservation and environmental protection and two-way investment grew noticeably.
Steady progress was made in cooperation in education, science, technology and culture. Over 10 middle schools of the Netherlands got the official approval to include Chinese as a required test for senior middle school graduates. The Dutch people showed a growing interest in Chinese language learning. The Programme Strategic Scientific Alliances (PSA) and Joint Scientific Thematic Research Programme (JSTP) between China and the Netherlands advanced steadily. The Chinese Spring Festival became an increasingly popular "cultural brand" among the Dutch people. The two countries enjoyed even closer cooperation in counter-piracy and international peacekeeping.