Xi says China, Finland to increase cooperation under China-EU framework

"Since China and Finland established diplomatic ties 67 years ago, our relationship has maintained a steady and sound development no matter how the global landscape changes", Xi said.

"Now, as we are building and promoting a future-oriented new-type of cooperative partnership, our relationship faces new development opportunities", Xi said in his arrival statement at Helsinki Airport.

During his visit, Xi will also meet Finnish Prime Minister Juha Sipila and Speaker of Parliament Maria Lohela.

Finland also wants to strengthen communication and coordination with China on major worldwide issues and push for an even closer cooperation between the European Union and China, he said.

"We know that pandas are a national treasure for China and we will honour and value them", President Sauli Niinisto told Mr Xi.

Chinese president Xi Jinping and his Finnish counterpart Sauli Niinistö were in attendance on Wednesday as a host of bilateral deals between the two nations were signed at Helsinki's Presidential Palace. Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived here Tuesday for a state visit to Finland.

The first visit by a Chinese leader to Finland since 1995 marks the 100th anniversary of the Nordic country's independence and Finns were pleased to learn that a pair of giant pandas were expected in Finland before the end of the year.

China has remained Finland's largest trading partner in Asia for the past 14 years, while Finland is China's third-largest trading partner in the Nordic region.

"Our relationship has become a model of friendly co-existence and mutually-beneficial cooperation between countries that are different in population and size, history and culture, social system and development level", he noted.

Noting that the development needs of China and Finland fit well with each other, Xi called on the two sides to increase high-level exchanges, build up strategic mutual trust, explore potentials for cooperation and give support to each other in development.

On Thursday, Xi heads to Washington for meetings with U.S leaders.

That will be the first meeting between Xi and Trump as the heads of state of the two biggest economies in the world.

  • Zachary Reyes