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Finnish people, media, officials speak highly of Chinese president's visit

Editor: zhenglimin 丨Xinhua

04-07-2017 15:26 BJT

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HELSINKI, April 6 (Xinhua) -- From the new partnership to practical cooperation and people-to-people exchanges between Finland and China, Finnish people, media and officials have spoken highly of and responded positively to Chinese President Xi Jinping's visit.

Xi concluded his maiden visit to Finland as head of state on Thursday, with the two countries confirming the establishment of a future-oriented new-type cooperative partnership and the signing of a host of cooperation documents.

During the visit, the two countries said in a joint declaration that they would continue to broaden and deepen practical cooperation in trade and investment, innovation, environmental protection and urbanization.

They also vowed to enhance cooperation in sports, culture, education, tourism, rule of law, social affairs and giant panda research.


"The visit speaks the warm relations Finland and China have," Tony Salenius, a student at Helsinki University, told Xinhua on Thursday.

"I think the China-Finland new partnership is a strong nod of approval from China towards Finland's actions regarding China, and possibly hugely beneficial to Finland," he added.

Salenius' classmate Juho-Pekka Palomaa said that the Finns "feel humbled that we, as a small nation, are noticed by one of the greatest economies in the world."

"It's great to hear that Mr. Xi enjoyed the purity and cleanness in Finland. I think attitudes towards China are also getting better and warmer once people have more awareness of this different culture," said Palomaa.

As for economic ties, Finnish financial newspaper Kauppalehti said that "although there was no actual business delegation with President Xi, several agreements on business were signed."

Finnish broadcaster YLE reported that Finland is a "reliable and predictable companion" to China, and that the Nordic country focuses on high-tech business cooperation between the two countries.

The innovation cooperation agreement will greatly enhance technological innovation cooperation between the governments and companies of the two nations, said Michael Haralson, chief executive officer of Techcode Finland, a Chinese business incubator located in Helsinki.

"At Techcode Finland, we will be working actively on aligning our projects with the initiatives outlined by the presidential meeting," said Haralson, adding that they will continue to create more momentum and opportunities regarding innovation between the two countries.


Besides businesses, people-to-people exchanges like tourism, winter sports and especially the giant panda research project, have become a buzz in Finland.

Aino Ropponen, who won the second place in 2016 Chinese Bridge Finland, a contest for foreign college students on their mastery of the Chinese language, said she is happy that "such important things as sports, climate change and friendship were discussed" during Xi's visit.

"Entrusting pandas to Finland at this important time for our 100-year-old country is a great gesture from China. I hope people of Finland and China can get to know each other even better," said Ropponen.

In a rare move, the Finnish Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry published a press release in both English and Chinese on its official website announcing the panda research project.

For the ministry, this is the culmination of international cooperation on Finland's 100th anniversary of independence, the release said.

The Chinese press release is "most likely" the first of its kind that is published on the ministry's website, Jaana Husu-Kallio, permanent secretary of the Finnish ministry of agriculture and forestry, told Xinhua.

"Yesterday (Wednesday) was such a big and important event for us. We published the Chinese press release to respect the visit," said Husu-Kallio.

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