BEIJING, Oct. 23 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao met on Thursday morning at the Great Hall of the People with Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende who is here to attend the seventh Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) to be held on Oct. 24 to 25.
Wen, who held a welcoming ceremony for the Dutch Prime Minister, said Sino-Dutch relations had seen constant development in recent years, with a strong growth of bilateral trade volume.
Wen applauded the Netherlands' adherence to the one-China policy, and said China was willing to maintain with the Netherlands a long-term partnership that is beneficial to the both sides, Wen said.
He said in face of the global financial crisis among other issues, China and the Netherlands should enhance bilateral cooperation and promote collaboration between China and Europe to better safeguard their common interests.
He urged the two sides to enhance mutual understanding and build mutual trust in each other, and to collaborate in the field of trade, agriculture, water conservancy, energy saving, environmental protection, communication and life sciences in order to build a resource-efficient and environment-friendly society.
He also called for the two sides to make joint efforts to crackdown on corruption, drug trafficking, and multinational criminal activities.
Balkenende said during the meeting that the Netherlands and China had cooperated widely in the fields of politics, economy, and culture, and that dialogues and cooperation are the most important factors in the strategic relations between the two countries.
He said the Netherlands was willing to further cooperate with China in terms of agriculture, jurisdiction, trade and investment, in order to achieve mutual prosperity.
The Netherlands respected the integrity of China's territory and sovereignty, and hoped to deepen mutual understanding of the two sides through dialogues, he said.
He also wished the 2010 Shanghai Expo a success like the Beijing Olympics.
Established as a high-level forum between governments of Asia and Europe, the ASEM this year is expected to focus on how to respond to the current global financial crisis, rather than the earlier planned topics like climate change, sustainable development and energy security.
Launched in 1996 as an informal dialogue mechanism, the ASEM now includes 45 members, representing more than 50 percent of the world's gross domestic product.