China seeks friendly relations and cooperation with the Netherlands, Chinese premier Zhao Ziyang said at the start of a four-day visit that comes after a period of frosty relations between the two nations. Premier Zhao, arriving Sunday from West Germany on the last leg of a European tour, was welcomed at Rotterdam airport by Dutch Prime Minister Ruud Lubbers and Foreign Minister Hans van den Broek. China downgraded diplomatic ties with The Hague in May, 1981, to protest the Dutch sale of two submarines to Taiwan.
Full diplomatic relations were resumed in February, 1984, when the Dutch agreed not to deliver four more vessels.
Zhao said that future friendly relations should be based on mutual respect for one another's sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity.
Chinese diplomats said technological and economic cooperation, China's relations with the European Community and trade matters were on the agenda for the visit, during which an investment protection agreement is to be signed.
Later during his stay, Zhao was to meet representatives of Dutch industry, tour a market garden firm, and the Philips electronics company in Eindhoven, and visit a flower auction.