Premier Wen Jiabao Holds Talks with His Finnish Counterpart Vanhanen

On September 12, 2006, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao held talks with his Finnish counterpart Matti Vanhanen. The two sides exchanged in-depth views on bilateral ties and other issues of common interest and discussed how to push for Sino-Finnish exchanges and cooperation in bilateral and multilateral areas in the new situation.

Wen said Finland is an independent nation that values peace and it has adhered to a friendly policy to China for a long period of time, adding the two countries have become good friends that respect and trust each other. In recent years, Sino-Finnish relations have maintained strong momentum, and progress has been made in cooperation in politics, economy, trade and other areas, Wen said. He noted the Chinese side is confident in the prospects of the Sino-Finnish relations.

To expand and deepen bilateral mutually beneficial cooperation, Wen put forward the following four-point proposal. First, arrange more high-level visits and political dialogue. While maintaining inter-governmental exchanges, the two countries should strengthen contacts between their parliaments, parties and academic research agencies, keep cooperation and coordination within the frameworks of the China-EU summit and the Asia-Europe Meeting and conduct communication and consultation on major international affairs in a timely manner. Second, expand trade and increase mutual investment. The Chinese side welcomes more Finnish enterprises to invest in China and encourages Chinese enterprises to enter the market in Finland, Wen said. The two sides should give play to their advantages and expand cooperation on sustainable development and social security. Third, deepen cooperation in science and technology and promote cooperation between scientific research institutions on frontier subjects and high-level personnel training. Fourth, enhance exchanges of experience in improving energy efficiency and environment protection.

For his part, Vanhanen said the bilateral ties enjoy a good tradition with sound political ties between the two countries and remarkable achievements have been made in cooperation in trade, investment, culture and education. The Finnish government has seriously studied China's 11th five-year plan and strategy of revitalizing old industrial bases in Northeast China, said Vanhanen, adding that both sides could complement each other in trade cooperation and development strategies. He said his country is ready to participate in China's development and hopes the two sides will continue high-level visits and strengthen cooperation on economy, trade, science, technology and environmental protection.

The Finnish prime minister also reiterated the country's one-China policy, for which Wen expressed his appreciation.

After the talks, the two leaders attended a ceremony of signing several cooperation documents covering the economy, education and communications.

On the evening of September 11, Wen went to the Chinese Embassy in Finland and called on the staff of the Embassy, as well as representatives from overseas Chinese, Chinese-funded institutions and Chinese students.

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