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Hu's Denmark visit will stimulate ties

By Zhou Wa and Wu Jiao (China Daily)

08:12, June 14, 2012

President Hu Jintao is scheduled to leave for Denmark on Thursday for the first-ever state visit by a Chinese president to the Nordic country.

Analysts said the landmark visit of the Chinese head of state will stimulate bilateral ties and broaden cooperation between China and European countries.

According to the released schedule, Hu will attend a banquet hosted by Queen Margrethe II on Friday and meet with the Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt the following day.

Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs Song Tao said at a news briefing on Monday that the two countries will launch trade programs during Hu's visit.

Government agencies and companies from both countries will sign a number of agreements in green technology, renewable energy and agriculture.

Danish Trade and Investment Minister Pia Olsen Dyhr described the first-ever visit by a Chinese head of state to her country as a "breakthrough" in the relations between China and Denmark.

"We see the possibility of increasing trade to China and actually doubling it in the next five years," Olsen Dyhr told Reuters in an interview on Tuesday.

Trade volume between Denmark and China has risen from $44 million in 1978, when China started opening up to the outside world, to $9.26 billion in 2011, a 210-fold growth in 33 years, according to China's General Administration of Customs.

China is now Denmark's sixth-largest trading partner — 54 percent of Denmark's gross domestic product comes from exports.

The economies of China and Denmark are complementary, so the environmental and economic cooperation between the two countries benefits both sides, said Zhen Jianguo, former Chinese ambassador to Denmark.

"Although Denmark is a small European country, it plays a leading role in the low-carbon economy, renewable energy, energy saving and management, which leads the trend in the world economy and is very important for China to achieve goals set in its 12th Five-Year Plan for 2011 to 2015," Zhen said.

Zhen also said that China and Denmark can learn from each other in many fields — including science, education, social welfare and medicine — which offers great potential for bilateral cooperation.

The Copenhagen Post reported on Tuesday that Hu's upcoming visit is being interpreted as a sign of new opportunities to deepen bilateral relations between the two countries.

The visit will mark another milestone in relations between the two countries, which established diplomatic ties in 1950.

Denmark was among the first group of Western countries to set up diplomatic ties with the People's Republic of China after its founding in 1949.

Hu's visit will raise Denmark's profile in China and help bring the world's second-largest economy closer to Europe, the newspaper said.

Hu's visit shows that China attaches great importance to Denmark and to the development of the relations between China and the Nordic countries, said Chen Mingming, former Chinese ambassador to Sweden and New Zealand.

"The visit will serve as a model for other Nordic countries. Those that respect China's core interests will surely benefit from the sound bilateral relations," Chen said, adding that China values the Danish market and those of other Nordic countries.

"Hu's visit will show China's trust in European countries, regardless of whether they are large or small," Chen said.

Chen said Hu will discuss the European economy and China-Europe relations with the Denmark's leaders.


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