Xi: China, Fin­land to team up

Pres­i­dent, Nordic coun­ter­part agree to en­hance win­ter sports co­op­er­a­tion

China Daily - - FRONT PAGE - By AN BAIJIE and XU WEI

China and Fin­land should make joint ef­forts to set an ex­am­ple of win­ter sports co­op­er­a­tion, Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping said on Mon­day.

Xi made the re­mark while meet­ing with Fin­nish Pres­i­dent Sauli Ni­in­isto at the Great Hall of the Peo­ple in Bei­jing. As the two pres­i­dents looked on, their coun­tries signed a num­ber of co­op­er­a­tion doc­u­ments.

After the sign­ing cer­e­mony, the two lead­ers at­tended the launch event for the China-Fin­land Year of Win­ter Sports.

There is great po­ten­tial for the two coun­tries to en­hance win­ter sports co­op­er­a­tion, Xi said, adding that the win­ter sports year will in­ject new im­pe­tus for peo­ple-to-peo­ple ex­changes be­tween the two coun­tries.

Ni­in­isto said that the two coun­tries have a his­tory of sports cooper- ation, and Fin­land sup­ports China’s host­ing of the 2022 Win­ter Olympic Games.

Dur­ing their talks, Xi said that the two coun­tries should up­hold mu­tual re­spect and mu­tual trust, keep an open and in­clu­sive mind, re­spect each other’s de­vel­op­ment path and take each other’s core in­ter­ests into con­sid­er­a­tion.

China ap­pre­ci­ates Fin­land’s sup­port for the Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive and would like to en­hance Belt and Road co­op­er­a­tion with Fin­land, Xi said.

Xi pro­posed that the two coun­tries make full use of the ad­van­tages of China-Europe rail­way con­nec­tions, pro­mote bi­lat­eral trade and seek co­op­er­a­tion op­por­tu­ni­ties on such projects as ex­ploita­tion of Arc­tic ship­ping routes.

The two coun­tries should make joint ef­forts to pro­mote re­form of the global gov­er­nance sys­tem, push for­ward build­ing an open global econ­omy and main­tain the mul­ti­lat­eral trad­ing sys­tem, Xi said.

Dur­ing the Fin­nish pres­i­dent’s visit, the two coun­tries will is­sue a joint ac­tion plan, which Xi said “will be a com­pre­hen­sive road map for ad­vanc­ing all ar­eas of our re­la­tion­ship”.

“I be­lieve the strong China-Fin­land re­la­tion­ship will de­liver tan­gi­ble ben­e­fits for both sides,” Xi said.

China has al­ways sup­ported the in­te­gra­tion of Europe and hopes that Europe will re­main united, stable, open and pros­per­ous, Xi said.

Ni­in­isto spoke highly of China’s de­vel­op­ment achieve­ments, say­ing that Fin­land at­taches great im­por­tance to China’s role in in­ter­na­tional af­fairs.

The Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive put for­ward by Xi is of great im­por­tance, he said.

Fin­land would like to play a pos­i­tive role in pro­mot­ing the in­ter­con­nec­tiv­ity of Eurasia, he added.

Fin­land would like to en­hance co­op­er­a­tion with China in such ar­eas as trade, in­no­va­tion, en­vi­ron­ment, tourism, Arc­tic af­fairs and win­ter sports, the Fin­nish pres­i­dent said.

Fin­land ap­pre­ci­ates China’s pos­i­tive role in global co­op­er­a­tion in deal­ing with cli­mate change and main­tain­ing the mul­ti­lat­eral trad­ing sys­tem, he said.

Sampo Terho, Fin­land’s min­is­ter for Euro­pean af­fairs, cul­ture and sport, said that the meet­ing of the two pres­i­dents will cre­ate more vis­i­bil­ity for events to be held dur­ing the China-Fin­land Year of Win­ter Sports.

He said at a news brief­ing in Bei­jing that Fin­land has a lot to of­fer in terms of help­ing China with its goal of cre­at­ing 300 mil­lion new win­ter sports en­thu­si­asts and build­ing the in­fra­struc­ture needed to sup­port that.

“Closer co­op­er­a­tion in win­ter sports be­tween China, the host of the 2022 Win­ter Olympics, and Fin­land, a tra­di­tional win­ter sports coun­try, will greatly strengthen our bi­lat­eral ties,” he said.

FENG YONGBIN / CHINA DAILY

Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping and Fin­nish Pres­i­dent Sauli Ni­in­isto, at­tend­ing the in­au­gu­ra­tion of the 2019 China-Fin­land Year of Win­ter Sports, are given items with the year’s logo by chil­dren from each coun­try at the Great Hall of the Peo­ple in Bei­jing on Mon­day.

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