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China and the Netherlands oppose the severing of industrial and supply chains
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China and the Netherlands oppose the severing of industrial and supply chains

China and the Netherlands highlighted their shared commitment to opposing the severing of industrial and supply chains as President Xi Jinping hosted visiting Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte in Beijing.

Xi told Rutte, who is on a two-day working visit to China, that any deliberate action to create barriers in science and technology and sever industrial and supply chains will only sow division and confrontation.

"The experience from history tells us economic globalization may face headwinds, but the general trend of history will not change," Xi said at the meeting. "Decoupling or the severing of supply chains will only lead to a dead end, while openness and cooperation are the only choice on this planet."

Rutte said that decoupling and the severing of supply chains are not a policy option of the Dutch government, as any action that harms the development interests of China will backfire.

The meeting between the two leaders took place after Dutch companies faced pressure from the United States to cut off the supply of advanced chipmaking equipment to Chinese companies.

Xi stressed on Wednesday that the binary black-and-white mentality which supposes that one side must outcompete the other is long outdated.

A world of true security should feature deep integration and interdependence, he explained.

The Chinese people are entitled to the right of legitimate development, and no force can stand in the way of China's sci-tech progress, he added.

Xi assured the Dutch leader that China stands ready to expand imports of high-quality products from the Netherlands, and the nation welcomes more investment from Dutch companies.

He called upon the Netherlands to provide a fair and transparent business environment for Chinese companies.

The president called on both sides to actively advance traditional cooperation in agriculture, water management and energy, while exploring the potential for cooperation in sectors such as artificial intelligence, green transformation and the silver economy.

Xi expressed his hope that both sides should continue to adopt more measures to make it easier for the exchange of personnel, after China adopted a 15-day pilot visa-free policy for Dutch citizens, and to encourage exchanges in education, culture and at the people-to-people level.

Rutte emphasized that his country values its friendly relations with China, saying that his government stands ready to deepen the partnership, better facilitate the exchange of personnel and enhance cooperation in the economy, trade and cutting carbon emissions.

According to the Foreign Ministry, the nation's imports from the Netherlands grew 35.1 percent on a yearly basis in 2023.

China is the second-largest trading partner of the Netherlands, while the European country is China's second-largest trading partner in the European Union.

Premier Li Qiang, who also met with the Dutch leader on Wednesday, said that both sides should expand the scale of economic and trade cooperation and tap into the potential for collaboration in fields such as artificial intelligence and green transformation.

China has always believed that cooperation is the mainstream for ties with the EU, and partnership is the most correct orientation for China-EU relations, he said.

He urged the EU to adopt a prudent stance with regard to restrictive measures in trade or using trade relief measures.

Rutte's itinerary in Beijing included a dialogue with students at Peking University on Wednesday morning and a trip to the capital's traditional alleyways.

Ding Chun, director of the Center for European Studies at Fudan University, said that Rutte's trip to China will help stabilize trade and economic ties between the two major economies.

Ding said the Dutch leader has displayed a pragmatic attitude toward enhancing bilateral cooperation, especially in speaking out against decoupling from China.

"It is in the interests of both China and the Netherlands to seek closer partnerships, instead of decoupling or cutting off supply chains," he said. Yetao

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