China and countries of the Nordic and Baltic regions should respect each other’s core interests and major concerns following a principle of mutual benefit, equal treatment and inclusiveness, President Xi Jinping said on Wednesday.
Xi made the remark while meeting with a delegation of speakers from seven Nordic and Baltic countries, who are visiting China from Sunday to Saturday at the invitation of China’s top legislator, Zhang Dejiang. It is the first time for the speakers from Nordic and Baltic countries to jointly visit China.
“By choosing to visit China, you show that you attach great importance to developing relations with my country, and we, too, share the same readiness to develop relations,” Xi said.
Calling it a new form of communication, Xi said the joint visit of speakers from Nordic and Baltic countries marks a new era of political mutual trust and exchanges.
The president called for joint efforts to integrate each other’s development strategy, expand practical cooperation and enhance Belt and Road Initiative cooperation to share the development opportunities brought by the interconnectivity of Eurasia.
China and the Nordic and Baltic countries should keep a strong momentum on the high-level exchanges, enhance communication, boost understanding, set aside disagreements and seek common ground, Xi said.
Noting that the relations between China and the Nordic and Baltic countries have gained momentum in recent years, Xi said that China and the countries are beginning to work in new areas of cooperation based on traditional areas of practical cooperation.
“I do hope that high-level interactions like this one will help deepen mutual understanding and trust between the two sides, leading to stronger cooperation and a flourishing of ties between our countries,” Xi said.
During the meeting, Xi introduced the economic and social development situation and China’s diplomatic policies.
China proposed building a community of shared future for mankind at the CPC’s 19th National Congress, which is the goal of China’s diplomacy in the new era, Xi said.
The delegates congratulated Xi on the success of the CPC’s 19th National Congress and expressed admiration for the CPC’s people-centered goals. They spoke highly of China’s achievements in economic development, improvement of people’s livelihoods and poverty reduction.
On behalf of the delegation, Maria Lohela, Finland’s speaker of Parliament, expressed their gratitude for the reception, saying that the delegates “have had an excellent program” in Beijing.
In a group interview after she met Xi, Lohela said, “One thing that particularly amazes me is the way Chinese people and the Chinese leadership plan ahead and look into the future. This is something we could learn from China.”
Beside Lohela, the main delegates include Olemic Thommessen, Norway’s president of the Storting, or Parliament; Steingrimur J. Sigfusson, Iceland’s speaker of the Althingi; Eiki Nestor, Estonia’s speaker of the Riigikogu; Inara Murniece, Latvia’s speaker of the Saeima; Viktoras Pranckietis, Lithuania’s speaker of the Seimas; and Ewa Thalen Finne, Sweden’s deputy speaker of the Riksdag, a news release said.
Cao Yin contributed to this story.