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Chinese premier kicks off official visit to Sweden

(Xinhua)

08:44, April 24, 2012

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao (2nd L) is welcomed upon his arrival in Gothenburg, Sweden, April 23, 2012. Wen Jiabao arrived here Monday afternoon for a visit to Sweden, aiming at further promoting bilateral ties. (Xinhua/Rao Aimin)

GOTHENBURG, April 23 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao arrived here Monday afternoon for an official visit to Sweden, aimed at further promoting bilateral ties.

In a written speech upon his arrival at the airport, Wen said that the friendly exchanges between the two peoples have a time-honored history though China and Sweden are located far apart.

Over the past years, the two nations have conducted frequent high-level exchanges, Wen said. And the two sides have reaped bumper harvests in economic and trade cooperation and carried out increasingly close exchanges in various areas, he added.

China attaches great importance to its relations with Sweden and stands ready to make concerted efforts, on the basis of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit, to continuously promote the friendship between the two peoples and make fresh progress in advancing practical cooperation in various areas, he said.

"I'm looking forward to meeting with Swedish leaders to jointly map out the future development of bilateral ties and exchange views on other issues of common concern," said Wen.

He also voiced hope that his visit will further promote the development of China-Sweden friendly cooperative relations in a bid to benefit the two countries and peoples and make positive contributions to China-Europe ties, world peace and sustainable development.

The Chinese premier flew in from Germany after attending the 2012 Hannover Messe, the world's leading industrial expo.

Sweden is the third leg of Wen's four-nation tour in Europe, which took him to Iceland and Germany. He will also travel to Poland.

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