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Vice-Premier Liu Yandong on a visit to Finland

Updated: Jun 14,2015 10:14 AM     Xinhua

HELSINKI — Vice-Premier Liu Yandong is in Finland for a three-day visit. The visit featured an opening ceremony of the Focus China, an extensive showcase of Chinese arts and culture during the Helsinki Festival 2015.

It is the first time that the 40-year-old Helsinki Festival launches a focus program on a certain country. “The move reflects Finns’ interest in Chinese culture and the friendship between the two peoples,” said Liu at the ceremony on June 11.

Liu has met with Finnish President Sauli Niinisto, Prime Minister Juha Sipila and Speaker of the Parliament Maria Lohela.

Her visit coincides with the 65th anniversary of the bilateral diplomatic relationship between Finland and China.

Finland was one of the first western countries that recognized New China established in 1949, and the bilateral partnership has set up an example for countries with different national conditions and social systems to develop their cooperation, said Liu.

Niinisto said one of the important reasons for the steady cooperation is mutual respects between the two countries. He said Finland is willing to contribute to the Belt and Road Initiative launched by China.

Sipila appreciated the future-oriented new-type cooperative partnership, proposed by Niinisto and President Xi Jinping in 2013.

Sipila hoped the two countries will strengthen cooperation in trade and investment, research and development, clean technology, environmental protection and medical services.

Liu will conclude her visit in Finland on June 14, and will then visit the Czech Republic and attend Sino-Central and Eastern Europe Health Ministers Forum.