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Lianhe Zaobao: Netherlands Closes Consulate General in Chongqing

Singapore’s primary Chinese language newspaper Lianhe Zaobao recently reported that, as China faces difficulties in attracting foreign investment, the Netherlands announced the closure of its consulate in the city of Chongqing. According to the Dutch Embassy in China, the Consulate General of the Netherlands in Chongqing was officially closed on March 1. The Dutch Embassy in Beijing will now handle consular matters in Chongqing, Sichuan, Shaanxi, Yunnan and Guizhou.

An unnamed source quoted a Dutch representative at a gathering of foreign businessmen in Chengdu as saying that the consulate was closed due to the limited Dutch business activities in the region. Data released in mid-February by China’s State Administration of Foreign Exchange showed that China’s foreign direct investment (FDI) growth last year was at the lowest level since the early 1990s; China is facing challenges as it seeks more overseas funding to boost a sluggish economy.

Recent changes in trade relations between China and the Netherlands have been significant. The Dutch intelligence agency issued a report last year saying that China “posed the greatest threat” to the economic security of the Netherlands. The Netherlands recently decided to withdraw the license of Dutch photolithography giant ASML for export of certain products to China, citing concerns over Chinese use of advanced chip-making equipment for military purposes.

Source: Lianhe Zaobao, March 4, 2024