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Chinese, Finnish heads of state renew bilateral friendship


Alwihda Info | Par peoplesdaily - 7 Avril 2017

China and Finland have highly compatible development strategies and enjoy broad prospects in cooperation, Zhen stressed. The fruitful outcomes from Xi’s Finnish visit will raise China-Finland relations, deepen the cooperation between China and Northern Europe and accelerate the China-EU four partnerships for peace, growth, reform and civilization, he elaborated.


By Song Haoxin from People’s Daily

Chinese, Finnish heads of state renew bilateral friendship
Chinese and Finnish top leaders have renewed their bilateral friendship during the three-day state visit paid by Chinese President Xi Jinping to the European country starting on Tuesday.

Xi, during his trip upon invitation of his Finnish counterpart Sauli Niinistö, exchanged views with top Finnish leaders on China-Finland ties, China-Europe relations, respective development paths and other international and regional issues of common concern.

The visit marked Xi’s first trip to Northern Europe as a head of state.

Xi and Niinistö, after their talks on Wednesday in Helsinki, witnessed the signing of a series of cooperation documents covering innovation, judiciary and panda research.

The two heads of state, while meeting the press, appreciated the substantial progress in bilateral relations in the past 67 years since they established diplomatic relations.

They also announced to establish a future-oriented new-type cooperative partnership, pledging to benefit the two countries and their peoples by enhancing political mutual trust and deepening pragmatic collaboration.

Zhen Jianguo, former Chinese ambassador to Denmark, told the People’s Daily that though distant in geographic location, China and Finland have maintained political friendship, smooth economic and trade ties as well as active cultural exchanges since the establishment of their diplomatic ties 67 years ago.

What’s worth mentioning is that Finland has created many “firsts” in China’s diplomatic course in terms of political, economic and cultural exchanges, the ambassador said.

Finland was among the earliest Western countries to recognize the new China and established diplomatic relationship with it, and also the first Western one that inked an inter-governmental trade agreement with the latter.

In addition, China remained as Finland’s largest trade partner in Asia for consecutive 14 years, while Finland is now the former’s third-largest trading partner in Northern Europe. Their two-way trade stood at 6.36 billion dollars in 2016.

Back in 1952, China’s Olympic delegation for the first time appeared at an Olympic event thanks to the invitation of Finland, the host of 15th Summer Olympics held in Helsinki.

Finnish airline Finnair opened a direct flight between Helsinki and Beijing in 1988, which was the first from a Western capital to China.

Finland inaugurated the first radio Confucius classroom in Northern Europe in 2013, and two years later, China replaced Russia as the largest source of Finland’s foreign students.

What’s more, in early 1970s, Finland was among the minority Western supporters for restoring China’s legitimate seat in the UN.

Both countries bolstered their high-level exchanges, enhanced political mutual trust and launched a more efficient pragmatic cooperation since China adopted its reform and opening up policy.

Zhen said that the recent years also witnessed a positive momentum of their relations. Xi and Niinistö reached an important consensus to pursue a future-oriented new-type cooperative partnership in 2013, pointing a way for their relationship.

The two countries have, in recent years, enjoyed enhanced high-level dialogues, increasingly closer political mutual trust, deepened practical cooperation covering all fields, intensified cultural communication as well as gratifying outcomes from their cooperation in high-tech, clean energy, innovation, entrepreneurship and Arctic research, the diplomat elaborated.
It is significant for both heads of state to announce an establishment of the future-oriented new-type cooperative partnership, he told the People’s Daily, adding that the visit provides a new chance for further development of bilateral relations.
In the future, the two countries will not only deepen their cooperation in traditional fields, but also make the “Belt and Road” initiative a new growth engine of bilateral pragmatic cooperation, the ambassador said.
Located along Baltic Sea and the northwest stretch of the “Belt and Road” route, Finland has prominent location, technology and talent advantages. As an active respondent to the “Belt and Road” initiative, the country is in discussion with China to develop more pragmatic cooperation within the strategic framework.
The two sides, for instance, can promote connectivity of the Eurasian continent by aligning their economic development plans.

In addition, they are presented with broad prospects to promote two-way investment and balanced growth of bilateral trade, and deepen cooperation in recycling economy, efficient utilization of resources, sustainable development, environmental protection, new-type urbanization as well as ecological smart cities.

There is also great potential in bilateral collaboration in agriculture and forestry, transportation, information and communication technology and innovation.

As Beijing will host the 2022 Winter Olympic Games, the two countries agreed to cooperate more in winter sports and preparation for the Winter Olympics. The two sides will launch a China-Finland Year of Winter Sports in 2019.

The two countries will also further cooperation in terms of tourism, culture, education and research of giant pandas, to promote mutual understanding and friendship between their peoples, especially young generations.

China and Finland have highly compatible development strategies and enjoy broad prospects in cooperation, Zhen stressed.

The fruitful outcomes from Xi’s Finnish visit will raise China-Finland relations, deepen the cooperation between China and Northern Europe and accelerate the China-EU four partnerships for peace, growth, reform and civilization, he elaborated.

The China-Finland relations will benefit both sides and serve as an innovation pioneer to the world, Zhen said, adding that their relationship has also set an example of peaceful coexistence and mutually beneficial cooperation between countries with different histories, cultures, social systems and development stages.

Pic:
A Chinese-speaking guide working at the airport of Helsinki, capital city of Finland, offers service to a Chinese tourist. Beginning from the summer of 2016, the airport launched a series of services for Chinese tourists, including adding signs written in Chinese, setting up inquiry desk of Chinese guides, opening microblog account and launching Chinese apps. Source: Xinhua News Agency


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