Wednesday, April 05, 2017

Chinese President Arrives in Finland for State Visit
2017/4/4 23:37:44

Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived here Tuesday for a state visit to Finland aimed at advancing bilateral ties, increasing political mutual trust and expanding substantial cooperation.

It is the first visit by a Chinese head of state to this Nordic country in 22 years.

During his stay in Helsinki, Xi will hold talks with Finnish President Sauli Niinisto, and meet with Prime Minister Juha Sipila and Speaker of the Finnish Parliament Maria Lohela.

China and Finland have enjoyed long-term friendship and cooperation.

Finland was one of the first Western countries to establish diplomatic ties with the People's Republic of China, and the first Western nation to sign an intergovernmental trade agreement with China.

Currently, Finland is China's third largest trading partner in the Nordic region, while China has been Finland's biggest trading partner in Asia for 14 years.

The two countries upgraded their ties to a future-oriented new-type cooperative partnership in 2013, when Niinisto paid a state visit to China.

The two sides have cooperated in areas such as high technology, clean energy, innovation and Arctic research, and further cooperation on winter sports is expected as China will host the 2022 Winter Olympic Games.

"With the concerted efforts of both countries since they forged diplomatic ties 67 years ago, the China-Finland relationship has become a model of peaceful co-existence and mutually beneficial cooperation for countries with different cultures, social systems and development levels," Chinese Ambassador to Finland Chen Li said.

Xi's visit to Finland is his first trip to a European Union member state this year, and also his first visit to the Nordic region as president.

"The visit will strengthen bilateral ties, promote cooperation between China and Northern Europe, and foster China-Europe partnerships for peace, growth, reform and civilization," Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Wang Chao told reporters ahead of Xi's trip.

After Finland, the Chinese president will travel to Florida, the United States, for a meeting with US President Donald Trump on Thursday and Friday.

That will be the first meeting between Xi and Trump as the heads of state of the two biggest economies in the world.

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