31 January 2011

Chinese Ambassador Visits Aruba, Curacao and Sint Maarten

H.E. Ambassador ZHANG Jun met with officials of three new autonomous countries

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Peoples Republic of China
 From 8 to 14 January, H. E. Ambassador ZHANG Jun visited Curaçao, Aruba and Sint Maarten, the three autonomous countries of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. During his visit, Ambassador ZHANG met with Governors, Prime Ministers, Ministers of Economic Affairs and Directors of Foreign Relations Office of the three autonomous countries. In Curaçao, he also met with Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Spatial Planning, and representatives from the business community. Besides meetings with local governments, Ambassador ZHANG also held talks with the representatives of the local Chinese community in the three autonomous countries.

During the official meetings, Ambassador ZHANG gave comprehensive introductions on current relations between China and the Kingdom of the Netherlands, and the latest bilateral economic and trade development. He said that China attaches great importance to the relationship with the Kingdom of the Netherlands, respects the political system of the Kingdom and the development path chosen by the people of the three autonomous countries. China is willing to further develop relations with the three autonomous countries within the framework of the overall relations between China and the Kingdom. The good momentum of the bilateral relationship creates even better conditions to develop relations between both sides. China would like to enhance people-to-people contacts, economic and trade cooperation and cultural exchanges with Curaçao, Aruba and Sint Maarten based on mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit, so as to promote mutual understanding and eventually achieve win-win outcome.

Leaders of Curaçao, Aruba and Sint Maarten welcomed Ambassador ZHANG's visit. They hoped that the special geographic locations, sound infrastructure and favorable investment environment the countries enjoy may attract more Chinese enterprises' investment into this region. In the meantime, the fast development of Chinese economy brings along good opportunities for deepening mutual exchanges and cooperation in every field. Curaçao, Aruba and Sint Maarten are willing to strengthen cooperation with China in the fields of sustainable energy, tourism and ocean shipping, so as to continuously boost mutual exchanges and cooperation.

Curaçao, Aruba and Sint Maarten, located in the Southeast of the Caribbean Sea, are among the four constituent countries forming the Kingdom of the Netherlands, and used to be island territories that constituted the Netherlands Antilles. In 1986, Aruba seceded from the Netherlands Antilles and officially became an autonomous country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands. On 10 October 2010, a Dutch constitutional reform formally determined that the Netherlands Antilles ceased to exist, that Curaçao and Sint Maarten also gained the status of autonomous country within the Kingdom. The Kingdom of the Netherlands now consists of four countries, namely the Netherlands, Curaçao, Aruba and Sint Maarten.