President Xi's visit to provide more impetus to China-Finland cooperation: ambassador

Published: 2017-04-02 19:20:12
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Chinese President Xi Jinping's upcoming visit to Finland is expected to not only promote the Belt and Road Initiative, but also address bilateral cooperation in such areas as high-tech and environmental protection.

CRI's Guan Chao has details.

Chinese ambassador to Finland Chen Li says the president's upcoming visit to the European country will be a landmark moment in the history of China-Finland relations.

"The visit would be the first visit to Finland by a Chinese president in 22 years. It shows that China places great importance on the traditional cooperative relationship with Finland. During the visit, President Xi will discuss bilateral relations and other issues of common concern with Finnish leaders. It will mark a milestone in the history of the two countries' relations."

Chen Li said that China and Finland are facing historic opportunities for cooperation, as both sides are at a critical period of economic transformation.

Currently, the two countries are exploring the possibility of connection between China's 13th Five Year Plan and Finland's development outlook for 2025.

According to the ambassador, cooperation under the Belt and Road framework would be a highlight.

"Finland locates at the extension of the northwestern part of the "Belt and Road". The country boasts advantages in terms of location, technology, resources, and human capital. Finland has been actively responding to the Belt and Road initiative. In April 2015, it also joined the AIIB as one of the founding members. The two countries are currently seeking more substantial cooperation and connectivity between Asia and Europe under the (Belt and Road) framework."

Other highlights that Chen mentioned include cooperation in the arctic region, sub-regional cooperation in northern Europe, and international governance.

Chen said that the visit will not only inject new vitality to China-Finland cooperation, but also contribute to world peace and stability.

China and Finland established diplomatic ties in 1950.

For 67 years, China's fast development was also felt by Chinese nationals in Finland.

Xi Jinping's upcoming visit is his first visit to a European Union member this year as well as his first visit to northern Europe as head of state.

Greatwall Ry is a non-profit organization focused on communication between China and Finland.

The organization's secretary general Zhang Honglei started his life in Finland as an engineer in the late 1990s.

He said he expects Xi Jinping's visit to further drive cooperation in high-tech.

"I wish Chinese high-tech companies would set up R&D centers in Finland, tapping into Finland's innovation capacity and good engineers while meeting China's need for R&D and innovation. In fact, China's high-tech industry only caught up with the world in the last five years. But Finland has maintained their edge for two decades. By matching Finland's experience and talents with China's market and demand, the result will be mutually beneficial."

Meanwhile, Finland-China Culture and Economy Association President Lin Lanchen said that the two countries also see prospects in environmental cooperation.

"One is the solution to the smog issue. Finland generates 30-percent of its power from coal. They also use fossil fuels. But their control measures for vehicle emissions are a good reference for us. Also we can draw experience on how Finland addresses issues on environmental legislation."

China and Finland reached common ground on building a new cooperative partnership during President Niinisto's visit to China in 2013.

For four years, their cooperation has been expanded to environment, culture, education, and technology.

Ambassador Chen suggested that with China hosting the 2022 Winter Olympic Games, the interest in winter sports cooperation is also on the rise.

For CRI, this is Guan Chao.

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