Speech by His Majesty the King at the state banquet on the occasion of the state visit to China, Beijing, 26 October 2015
Mr President, Madam Peng, ladies and gentlemen,
For my wife and me it is an honour and a privilege to be visiting your country. We are most grateful for your hospitality.
This year, ceremonies were held in many different parts of the world to commemorate the end of the Second World War in Asia and Europe, 70 years ago. We remembered the victims, who included many millions of Chinese citizens. And we considered the progress that has been made since - like the establishment of the United Nations. Last month, Mr President, we celebrated the UN's seventieth anniversary in New York.
Your country's achievements are worthy of respect. China has made breathtaking advances in recent decades. Socioeconomic opportunities have been created for -and seized by - hundreds of millions of Chinese people. And it's not only China that's changed as a result. The whole world has benefited.
China has achieved its impressive growth in partnership with others. Not least with Europe, to which the Netherlands is an important gateway. A quarter of the containers that arrive in Rotterdam, Europe's biggest port, come from your country. That alone shows the strength of our mutual ties.
If the last few decades have taught us anything, it is that we depend heavily on one another. Our interests are as interwoven as the threads in a silken fabric. A fabric that is strong, yet also vulnerable.
This makes the need for close ties even greater. The Netherlands especially appreciates the constructive dialogue we are pursuing. A dialogue about issues on which we agree, as well as about issues on which we sometimes differ - like human rights.
Maintaining this dialogue can help us strengthen our ties in these turbulent times. European countries, in all their diversity, face challenges safeguarding prosperity and social cohesion whilst defending the values our societies are built on. Meanwhile, we're trying to contribute to sustainable development elsewhere in the world.
China also sees the importance of sustainable development. Growth has two
dimensions: quantity and quality. To achieve stable development in the long
term, these need to be balanced. People don't simply want economic prospects.
They also want a pleasant, safe and clean place to live. And to have good health
care and opportunities for personal development.
You are more aware of that than anyone, Mr President.
I firmly believe in the value of working together. Last year you visited the Netherlands together with a great many Chinese entrepreneurs and experts. Now a broad mission from the Netherlands has come to China in parallel with our state visit. Our mutual interests show the concrete added value of our cooperation. More sustainable cities. A cleaner environment. More efficient agriculture. Even a broader basis for the future of Chinese football. They all derive from our working partnership.
So let me close by proposing a toast.
To your health, Mr President and Madam Peng.
To your beautiful country.
And to our fruitful partnership.