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China, Finland vow to strengthen cooperation

Updated: Mar 1,2017 10:07 AM     Xinhua

BEIJING — Finland is willing to expand cooperation with China in areas such as investment, tourism and the environment, according to the country’s foreign minister.

Chinese tourism to Finland has increased a lot in recent years, and Finland opened 13 new visa application centers in China last year, according to Finland Foreign Minister Timo Soini in an interview with Xinhua on Feb 28.

Soini arrived in China on Feb 26 for a four-day visit, and said that he hoped Finland would attract more Chinese visitors.

“Finland is a firm supporter of initiatives which enhance connectivity between Europe and Asia,” he said, when discussing the Belt and Road Initiative.

China proposed the initiative in 2013 to build a trade and infrastructure network connecting Asia with Europe and Africa along the ancient Silk Road trade routes.

He lauded the Chinese government’s efforts in environmental protection, citing the targets and green development in the country’s current five-year-plan.

“Today, China is already the biggest installer of renewable energy in the world,” he said. “I see huge cooperation potential in the environmental sector. Finland has for instance worked closely with China in offering more energy efficient and smart solutions.”

Foreign Minister Wang Yi met with Soini in Beijing on Feb 27. Wang said he hoped both countries would actively work to build a future-oriented new type of partnership. They also exchanged views on international and regional issues of common concern.