|Chinese, Finnish leaders exchange messages on anniversary of ties|
Chinese President Hu Jintao exchanged messages with his Finnish counterpart, Tarja Halonen, Thursday to mark the 60th anniversary of the establishment of bilateral ties.
Finland established diplomatic ties with the People's Republic of China on Oct. 28, 1950, and was among the first Western countries to recognize the new China.
In his message, Hu hailed the healthy and steady development of bilateral relations since the establishment of ties.
Exchanges of visits between leaders had been frequent, while political relations between the two countries had matured, trade and economic cooperation developed in a pragmatic manner, and remarkable achievements were made in a variety of cooperative fields, Hu said.
Both sides had carried out close contact and coordination in major international and regional issues, the Chinese president said.
China highly valued its relations with Finland, and hoped both sides, with the anniversary as a new starting point, could enhance political mutual trust, expand mutually beneficial cooperation, enrich cooperation content, and jointly face up to global challenges to make Sino-Finnish relations a model of relations between different social systems and cultural traditions, Hu said.
Halonen said frequent high-level visits and other exchanges had greatly increased understanding between the two sides and promoted cooperation in a variety of fields, including international affairs.
China was now Finland's leading trade partner in Asia, Halonen said, adding that both countries had exchanged views and cooperated in science and technology, education and the rule of law, and cultural and people-to-people interactions had become more versatile and dynamic over time.
The Finnish president expressed her firm desire to further strengthen ties with China for the benefit and prosperity of the two nations and the international community as a whole.
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao on the same day also exchanged greetings with his Finnish counterpart, Mari Kiviniemi, to celebrate the occasion.
Wen said in his message that bilateral relations had been developing comprehensively since the establishment of ties, and he hailed close contact and coordination between the two countries in international affairs, and the achievements made in various cooperative aspects.
To further develop the friendly and mutually beneficial partnership between the two countries had become a consensus of both sides, said Wen, who voiced China's willingness to work with the Finnish side to boost ties.
Kiviniemi spoke highly of the two countries' ever-deepening cooperation in areas like trade and economy, science and technology, education, culture, justice and international relations.
Finland was proud of these achievements and keen to use the momentum to further develop its relations with China, the prime minister said.