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Sino-Dutch ties developing on fast track: envoy

Updated: May 19,2017 7:18 PM     Xinhua

THE HAGUE — The China-Netherlands relationship has after 45 years’ development reached its prime time in history, and entered into the “fast-track” of comprehensive, all-dimensional and multilevel development, Chinese Ambassador to the Netherlands Wu Ken has said.

Wu made the remarks when celebrating the 45th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations at the ambassadorial level between the two countries on May 18 evening.

Although located far away from each other, China and the Netherlands have already started trade and cultural exchange through the “Maritime Silk Road” as early as over 400 years ago.

The Netherlands was one of the first Western countries to recognize the People’s Republic of China, Wu told hundreds of guests attending the ceremony hosted by the Chinese embassy in The Hague.

“These 45 years, compared with the 400 years, only compose a very short period of time. But it is within this short period that we have gained the most fruitful achievements in the history of the China-Netherlands relations,” he said.

The ambassador believed that in 2017 both countries will embrace important opportunity of development as the Netherlands is going to form a new cabinet and China will hold the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC).

He called on both countries to further strengthen the basis of mutual trust with strategic vision, forge new highlights of mutually-beneficial and win-win cooperation with open and pragmatic spirit, and maintain stable and healthy development of bilateral relations on the basis of mutual respect.

The ambassador also mentioned Wu Wen and Xing Ya, two giant pandas living at Ouwehands Zoo in the Dutch city of Rhehen since April 12. The two long-awaited adorable creatures will be seen by the public on May 30.

“It is a small step for this pair of giant pandas, but a big step for the history of China-Netherlands relations,” said Wu.

On behalf of the Dutch government, Dutch Minister of Education, Culture and Science Jet Bussemaker spoke highly of the cooperation in various fields that her country enjoys with China.

She emphasized on the need to deepen mutual understanding between young generations of the two peoples, noting that currently there are nearly 9,000 Chinese students studying in the Netherlands.

Wu and Bussemaker unveiled an exhibition of 45 photos capturing milestones or remarkable moments of the development of the relationship between the two countries.

Also present at the ceremony were Speaker of the Dutch Senate Ankie Broekers-Khol, and Director-General of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons Ahmeet Uzumcu.

China and the Netherlands established diplomatic relations at the ambassadorial level in 1972.