Celebration surrounds Xi's arrival

Updated: 2014-03-23 01:13

By WU JIAO and FU JING in Amsterdam, the Netherlands (China Daily)

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Celebration surrounds Xi's arrival

King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands welcomes Chinese President Xi Jinping upon his arrival at Schiphol Airport March 22, 2014. [Photo/Agencies]

The Netherlands is the first leg of Xi's visit to Europe, which will also take him to France, Germany and Belgium between March 22 and April 1.

Xi will attend the third Nuclear Security Summit in The Hague from March 24 to 25, at the invitation of Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte. The Chinese president is scheduled to visit the headquarters of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) on March 27.

Boudewijn Poldermans, senior adviser to the Netherlands Trade Promotion Council's management board, said Xi's visit is historic, and he hopes it can inject new energy into ongoing investment-agreement negotiations between China and the EU.

He said the investment agreement will certainly facilitate and boost investments in both directions and consequently increase trade and investment between the two economies.

"I also hope that this will lead to China being recognized as a market economy by the EU leadership," Poldermans said.

Zhang Qiaozhong, chairman of the Dutch-Chinese Chamber of Commerce, which represents hundreds of overseas Chinese investing in the Netherlands, said Xi's visit will boost mutual understanding and facilitate exchanges between the two economies.

Zhang has urged the leaders from both sides to further recognize the value of overseas Chinese, who have contributed greatly to their host countries.

"And now, those Chinese have started to play roles as bridge builders between the two economies and cultures," said Zhang, whose company specializes in exporting eco-agriculture technologies to China.

The Netherlands has worked hard to ensure a safe weekend state visit and attendance of the two-day Nuclear Security Summit that begins on Monday. Over 50 world leaders will be present at the summit, including Xi and US President Barack Obama.

In the coastal town Noordwijk, about 20 kilometers from The Hague, where the nuclear summit will be held, checkpoints have already been set up about 200 meters from the gates of hotels where leaders will be staying.

Police are stationed at every bus stop along main streets, and others are patrolling in cars and on bikes.

Helicopters are patrolling the skies, while warships are monitoring the seas.

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