HELSINKI - Liu Yunshan, a senior official of the Communist Party of China (CPC), wrapped up a visit to Finland on Sunday that promoted cultural and inter-party exchanges.
"People-to-people exchange can serve as a bridge for mutual understanding and friendship. China will continue to strengthen cooperation with Finland in such areas as mass media, movie production and cultural performances," Liu, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, said at a meeting with Finnish President Sauli Niinistoe.
During his June 12-15 visit, Liu witnessed the signing of two cooperation deals reached between the two sides on cultural exchange.
"The two countries should continue to explore new ways to strengthen people-to-people exchange, in order to consolidate the spiritual ties for the new type partnership between China and Finland," Liu said.
For his part, Niinistoe said that cultural exchange can help the two peoples understand each other.
"I am glad to see more and more Finnish young people are learning Chinese. They will play a role in promoting pragmatic cooperation between Finland and China," he said.
Liu also made extensive contact with Finnish party leaders. Speaking at a meeting with Finnish Parliament Speaker Eero Heinaluoma, Liu said: "The development of relations between China and Finland is maintaining a good momentum, featuring frequent high-level visits and closer exchange between the two countries' legislatures.
"We would like to work with the Finnish side to expand and deepen our exchange and strengthen pragmatic cooperation so as to promote our bilateral relations to a higher level."
Liu briefed Heinaluoma about the ongoing reforms in China, saying that the comprehensive reform plan would unleash huge investment and consumption demand, which would provide opportunities for countries like Finland.
At the same time, China is willing to learn from the success of Finland and other European countries in implementing reforms and stimulating innovation, he said.
"Through dialogue and cooperation, we can realize common development," Liu said.
Heinaluoma said the relationship between Finland and China has set a good example for similar situations between countries of different sizes.
"Though Finland and China are far away (from each other) and their national conditions are quite different, we have treated each other on an equal footing and have carried out friendly cooperation," he said, adding that the Finnish side is also satisfied with the healthy development of bilateral relations.
Earlier in the day, Liu met with Finnish Finance Minister and chairman of the Social Democratic Party of Finland (SDP) Antti Rinne.
He said that the CPC attaches great importance to its relations with SDP, hoping to have dialogue and mutual learning with each other on governance and party building.
Rinne said that the SDP would continue to deepen its relations with the CPC.
On Thursday, Liu also held talks with Juha Sipil, chairman of the Center Party of Finland, hailing the smooth development of relations between the two parties.
Finland is the second leg of Liu's ongoing four-nation Europe tour, which has already taken him to Denmark, and will now see him visiting Ireland and Portugal.