China, Finland vow to write new chapter in bilateral ties
15 Jan 2019


Chinese President Xi Jinping (2nd R) and his wife Peng Liyuan (1st R) pose for a group photo with Finnish President Sauli Niinisto (2nd L) and his wife Jenni Haukio in Beijing, capital of China, Jan. 14, 2019. (Xinhua/Ju Peng)


Chinese President Xi Jinping and his visiting Finnish counterpart Sauli Niinisto agreed to work together to write a new chapter in bilateral ties during their talks on Monday.


Hailing that China and Finland have been committed to forging a future-oriented new-type of cooperative partnership in recent years, Xi said it is not only in line with both countries' and people's interests but also conducive to world peace, stability and prosperity that China and Finland enhance dialogue and cooperation.


The two countries need to adhere to mutual respect and trust, be open-minded and inclusive, respect each other's development path and take each other's core interests into consideration so as to promote the steady development of bilateral ties, Xi told Niinisto during the talks held at the Great Hall of the People.


Xi encouraged both countries to expand cooperation in new areas driven by innovation. He suggested the two countries make the best use of the China Railway Express and other facilities to boost two-way trade, conduct third-party cooperation, discuss opportunities for cooperation on the Arctic shipping routes and jointly build the Polar Silk Road.


Xi also called for enhanced cultural and people-to-people exchanges as the two presidents would jointly launch the 2019 China-Finland Year of Winter Sports in the hope of forging a model of winter sports cooperation.


Hailing the rapid development of bilateral ties, Niinisto said that Finland speaks highly of China's achievements, values China's role in international affairs and cherishes its friendship with China.


The Belt and Road Initiative proposed by Xi is very important, he said, adding that Finland is willing to play a positive role to better align this initiative with the European Union (EU) to promote the connectivity of the Eurasian continent.


During Niinisto's visit to China, the two sides are scheduled to publish a joint action plan (2019-2023) on promoting the future-oriented new-type cooperative partnership between China and Finland.


Finland will assume the rotating presidency of the EU in the second half of this year. The country will take this as an opportunity to promote closer ties between the EU and China, Niinisto said.


After the talks, the two presidents witnessed the signing of cooperation agreements and attended the inaugural ceremony of the 2019 China-Finland Year of Winter Sports.


There is huge potential for cooperation on winter sports between the two countries given the high complementarity, Xi said while addressing the inaugural ceremony.


Finland supports China in hosting the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic Games, Niinisto said, adding that he is glad Finland will be the first country to launch the Year of Winter Sports with China and he believes this will further promote friendship between the two countries.


Niinisto is paying a state visit to China from Sunday to Wednesday at the invitation of Xi.


Source: Xinhua News Agency