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Sino-Finnish cooperation to be deepened comprehensively: Finnish Speaker

By Kou Jie (People's Daily Online)    13:52, November 14, 2017


Bilateral relations between China and Finland are on good terms, while the latter is ready to intensify communication and cooperation with China in such areas as trade, winter sports, and global affairs, noted Maria Lohela, the Finnish Parliament Speaker.

The remarks came on the heel of the successful closing of the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, making her one of the first Western leaders to visit the country after the grand event.

“I feel very lucky and grateful to be able to visit China so soon after the congress. What I particularly appreciate about the congress is the vision they have planned for the country’s future, which requires great courage and patience from the decision-makers,” Lohela told People’s Daily Online during a TV interview.

During her six-day visit in China in November, Lohela has visited several cities, including Beijing, Tianjin, and Xi’an, in an effort to promote the two nations’ people-to-people exchange and local cooperation.

Lohela also hailed Chinese President Xi Jinping’s state visit to Finland in April, noting that the visit has shown a strong signal of deepening the two nations’ relations at many levels.

“I think our countries’ current relations are very good. It’s not only because the two nations’ top leaders have visited one another, but also because of the large amount of people-to-people contact, which I think is the most important,” said Lohela.

More opportunities for comprehensive cooperation

According to Lohela, the two nations should enhance cooperation in the areas that Finland has advantage, such as innovation, clean energy, winter sports, and physical education.

“Finland has a lot of knowledge of training and the construction of different kinds of winter sports arenas. I think those two areas are good for our cooperation,” said Lohela.

China, which lacks a winter sports tradition, has been working hard to establish its prominence in this area. As the country is going to host the 2022 Winter Olympics, it has stepped up efforts to introduce nationwide initiatives to engage 300 million people in winter sports, leading to a golden age for the country’s winter sports industry.

According to Xinhua, recent projects released by the government show that the industrial scale of winter sports could reach 600 billion yuan (about $87 billion) by 2020, and this is set to further increase to one trillion by the year 2025.

“There’s one thing that is even more important – it’s the way Finland engages winter sports in the education system. I think that is something China could learn from Finland,” said Lohela.

In addition to winter sports, innovation cooperation is also a new highlight of the two nation’s trade ties, according to Lohela.

“I particularly think clean technologies are one of the most important cooperation areas. New solutions against pollution, waste management, and other environmental issues, as well as the sustainable development of the society should be our key cooperation areas,” she noted.

Standing at the front of the anti-global warming campaign following the U.S. withdrawal from the Paris Agreement, China has pledged to cut carbon emissions per unit of GDP by 60-65 percent from 2005 levels by 2030 and raise the share of non-fossil energy use in total consumption to about 20 percent.

The two nations will also conduct more research in the Arctic region, as Finland is now serving as the chair of the Arctic Council, while China, as an observer of the organization, has been making great efforts to protect the globe’s environment.

“As a big country, China should not only take great responsibility for its own people, but it needs to show an example to the world, I’m very impressed to see what it has done so far,” added Lohela.

(Photo by Jiang Jianhua)

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(Web editor: Jiang Jie, Bianji)

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