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Interview: Finnish president says important that "Chinese Dream" to come true


10:44, April 04, 2013

HELSINKI, April 3 (Xinhua) -- Before embarking on a visit to China, Finnish President Sauli Niinisto said he had noticed the "Chinese Dream" and China's efforts to realize it.

"When we talk about human rights, it is very important that those poor people get rid of their poverty. That is huge thing for a family or an individual. And I understand that in China, one of the major goals is to reduce the amount of poor people," said Niinisto.

The word "Chinese Dream" has been getting popular in China, since newly elected Chinese President Xi Jinping promised to take care of the citizens' dream of a better life.

In the coming weekend, Niinisto will meet his Chinese counterpart in Hainan, where he will start his official visit in China and attend the Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference.

During an interview with Xinhua on Tuesday, Niinisto expressed his hope that the new Chinese leadership could handle the faced challenges.

"I know very well that they have huge domestic challenges with big nation, a lot of population, and still it is very important for them to increase welfare to the poorer people," said the Finnish president.

He also spoke highly of the economic progress China has made. "We have admired the progress that China has done during the past tens of years. A lot of people have found more prosperity."

"The people are very diligent that I have seen with my own eyes when I visited China. They are working hard and having results," said Niinisto, referring to one of his earlier trips to China.

"I remember my first visit to China. That was in the beginning of 1990s. One morning I woke up very early and went to have a look in the street and saw people cycling to their work."

"I was thinking, well, many of them maybe think that when I work harder I can buy a little bigger apartment or maybe a car someday. Those are very concrete incentives. Well, most of them have already got their targets," he recalled.

The impression partly contributed to Niinisto's opinion that motivation should be created to encourage people to work harder, rather than stay enjoying high level of social security.

"Yes, in Finland, we have, every now and then, a very severe discussion on whether our social benefits are so high that some people don't want to work any more, and that is a clear problem if you don't create incentives to work," he told Xinhua.

One of the messages he is going to deliver at a special session of the European economy in Boao Forum is the importance for developed western countries to look eastward.

"We have learned that Asian countries are going forward and we should be able to ask ourselves why we are stagnant in the way. And I think that it is just the target thinking and understanding that you just cannot leave things as they are and trust on your former good performance," said Niinisto.

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