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|Wednesday, July 05, 2000, updated at 09:42(GMT+8)|
Chinese Premier Starts Visit to the NetherlandsPremier Zhu Rongji arrived in Amsterdam Tuesday afternoon, starting his official visit to the Netherlands at the invitation of Dutch Prime Minister Vim Kok.
At the Amsterdam international airport, Zhu said in a written statement that the Netherlands is China's important trading partner in Europe and the Chinese government has all along attached importance to developing friendly relations and cooperation with the Netherlands.
In recent years, there has been a frequent exchange of high- level visits between the two countries and "considerable progress has been made in our economic relations and trade," the premier said.
He said, "The successful visit to China by Queen Beatrix Wilhelmina Armgard last year, in particular, has further deepened the traditional friendship between our two peoples and effectively promoted the growth of our bilateral relations."
"The purpose of my current visit is to upgrade the existing friendly ties between our two countries to a new high," said Zhu, who came here after a visit to Luxembourg.
The Chinese premier is scheduled to meet with top Dutch leaders and lawmakers in The Hague, the political center of the Netherlands.
The Netherlands is the fourth leg of Zhu's six-country Europe tour. He had official visits to Bulgaria, Germany and Luxembourg and will go to Italy and Belgium after winding up his visit here.
The Chinese premier will also pay an official visit to the European Union headquarters in Brussels, the capital of Belgium.
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