Top Chinese legislator makes first visit to Finland to enhance ties


HELSINKI, Sept. 24 (Xinhua) — Top legislator of China said on Saturday the Chinese-Finnish relationship is a model that two countries with different social systems can develop close cooperation which is beneficial for both sides.

Zhang Dejiang, chairman of the Standing Committee of the Chinese National People’s Congress, made the remarks in Helsinki during his two-day visit to Finland.

Meeting Finnish President Sauli Niinisto, Zhang said the bilateral relationship between China and Finland is a model of friendship maintained by nations who have different history and culture, social systems and development stages.

Chinese President Xi Jinping and Niinisto reached consensus in 2013 that the two countries should work to build a future-oriented new type of partnership. Niinisto said Finland would like to translate the good will to more achievements.

China is willing to enhance the cooperation with Finland on global economic management, climate change and arctic issues, Zhang elaborated.

Given the fact that Finland is a world known innovative country and China is entering a critical period upgrading its industries, the two countries have complementary economic advantages and huge potential in cooperation in many areas, Zhang said when meeting with Prime Minister Juha Sipila.

Joint efforts should be made to explore and deepen cooperation in innovation, environment, tourism, culture and sports, he added.

Zhang said he hopes Finland, a member of the European Union and the euro zone, continues to play an active role in promoting the ties between China and Europe, as well as facilitating free trade and investment.

On his part, Sipila said he congratulated China on the ratification of the Paris agreement on climate change.

Stressing the potential of cooperation concerning sustainable development, Sipila hopes to enhance cooperation on various areas and expects more Chinese tourists to visit Finland.

Zhang started the trip at the invitation of Speaker of Finnish Parliament Maria Lohela. Zhang has been the first chief of Chinese legislature to visit Finland since the two countries established diplomatic relationship in 1950.

The trip also highlighted the 60th anniversary of exchanges between the two countries’ legislatures. In 1956, a 13-member Finnish parliamentary delegation visited China and was invited to attend a session of the Chinese People’s Congress.

Talking with Lohela, Zhang said he hopes to level up the current cooperation between the two legislatures, strengthen the mutual understanding and trust.

The two countries should continue to improve economic ties, as well as to promote cultural exchanges, Zhang added.

Lohela assured that the Finnish Parliament would play an active role in promoting friendship, improving cooperation and facilitating cultural exchanges.

Briefing the latest development of the reform and opening-up in China and the new strategy the Chinese ruling party is adopting, Zhang attached China’s achievements to the insistence on the leadership of the Communist Party of China, the socialist road with Chinese characteristics and the people’s congress system.

He said the Chinese people are confident in realizing the Chinese dream of national rejuvenation.

The two sides also exchanged opinions on international and regional issues of common concerns.

During the trip in Finland, Zhang attended a forum of Chinese-Finnish enterprises, and visited Aavi Technologies, a Finnish company producing filter free air purifiers that has been purchased by a Chinese investor.