By Xi Jinping. Translation.
Stockholm, 4 April 2017, (Greenpost)–At the invitation of President Sauli Niinistö, I have come to the Republic of Finland for a state visit, bringing with me the friendship of the Chinese people to the Finnish people. As this year marks the centenary of the independence of Finland, let me extend, on behalf of the Chinese government and people, and in my own name, warm congratulations and best wishes to the Finnish government and people.
Finland is known as the “land of a thousand lakes” and the “land of forests”. It is a land that has nurtured the “sisu” spirit with which the Finns have overcome the extremely challenging environment and all the difficulties, achieved national independence and prosperity and made admirable progress.
Despite the long distance between our two countries, the Chinese and Finnish people have a close bond. Finland is one of the first western countries to recognize and establish diplomatic ties with the People’s Republic of China and the first western country to sign an inter-governmental trade agreement with China. Over the past 67 years of diplomatic ties, the China-Finland relationship has enjoyed steady and sound growth despite the changing international landscape. It has set an example of friendship and win-win cooperation between countries that have different size, population, history, culture, social system and development level. In recent years, our cooperation in economy, trade, science and technology, environmental protection and people-to-people areas has been deepening, and our economic complementarity promises great space and potential for further economic cooperation and trade. Now as we are building and promoting a future-oriented new-type cooperative partnership, our relationship faces new development opportunities.
I look forward to meeting with President Sauli Niinistö, Speaker Maria Lohela and Prime Minister Juha Sipilä, during which we will have in-depth exchange of views on China-Finland relations and other issues of shared interest and draw the blueprint for the growth of our relations. I’m confident that with the joint efforts of China and Finland, this visit will be a great success.