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Qin Gang: China and the Netherlands Can Strengthen Cooperation at Three Levels

2023-05-23 23:30

On May 23, 2023, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Qin Gang briefed the press after his talks with Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of the Netherlands Wopke Hoekstra in Beijing.

Qin Gang said that he just had a candid and in-depth exchange with Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Wopke Hoekstra, with many common understandings being reached. The more complex the international situation becomes, the more important it is for China, the Netherlands, and other countries that support free trade, openness, and cooperation to come together to maintain the stability of international industrial and supply chains, and promote the world economic recovery. This will also contribute to maintaining world peace, stability, and prosperity.

Qin Gang stressed that China and the Netherlands can work together in the same direction at three levels. Speaking of the bilateral level, Qin Gang noted that China is speeding up efforts to foster a new development paradigm and advancing high-standard opening up. China is ready to work with the Netherlands to deepen practical cooperation, provide an open, fair, and non-discriminatory business environment for each other’s enterprises, and make the pie of win-win cooperation bigger. Speaking of the China-Europe level, Qin Gang said the Netherlands is the “gateway” to China-Europe cooperation, and China and the Netherlands should focus on the positive agenda of China-Europe relations and work to resume exchanges and cooperation on all fronts between the two sides. China follows a path of peaceful development and pursues a mutually beneficial strategy of opening up. What it exports is opportunities rather than crises, and what it brings is assurances instead of risks. Creating bloc confrontation and deliberately severing supply chains are the root causes of global risks. Speaking of the multilateral level, Qin Gang said China is ready to work with the Netherlands to strengthen communication and cooperation, and jointly safeguard the UN-centered international system and the WTO-centered multilateral trading regime.

Qin Gang pointed out that China follows a people-centered approach to human rights protection, and has successfully found a path of human rights development in line with China’s national conditions and the needs of the people. The issues related to Xinjiang, Tibet, and Hong Kong are not human rights issues, but ones related to safeguarding China’s national sovereignty, security, and development interests. The Taiwan question, which concerns China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, is at the very core of China’s core interests. Commitment to the one-China principle is what underpins peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait. China appreciates the Netherlands’ reaffirmation of its commitment to the one-China policy.

Qin Gang said that China understands the concerns of the Netherlands and other European countries on the Ukraine issue, and has been committed to promoting peace talks. Special Representative of the Chinese Government on Eurasian Affairs is currently visiting Europe to engage in in-depth communication with the European side on the political settlement of the crisis. China hopes that relevant parties to the crisis will remain objective and cool-headed, and make joint efforts for an early ceasefire and restoration of peace.

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