HELSINKI -- China and Finland agreed Wednesday to establish and promote a future-oriented new-type cooperative partnership, with both sides pledging to enhance political mutual trust and deepen pragmatic cooperation.
During talks between visiting Chinese President Xi Jinping and his Finnish counterpart Sauli Niinisto, the two heads of state stressed that to build a more forward-looking and strategic bilateral relationship that keeps pace with the times is in the fundamental interests of both countries and their peoples.
"China and Finland are good friends and partners who respect each other, treat each other as equals and enjoy mutually-beneficial cooperation," Xi said. "The peoples of our two countries have always cherished a friendly sentiment toward each other."
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.
Niinisto expressed warm welcome to the Chinese president for his visit on the occasion of the centenary of Finland's independence.
Finland highly values China's achievements in development and its important role in international affairs, he said.
The Finnish side hopes to carry out more high-level contacts and exchanges in all areas with China, and deepen cooperation in economy and trade, investment, innovation, environmental protection, tourism, winter sports and the Arctic affairs, as well as within the framework of the Belt and Road (B&R) Initiative, Niinisto said.
Finland also wants to strengthen communication and coordination with China on major international issues and push for an even closer cooperation between the European Union and China, he said.
The B&R Initiative was put forward by President Xi in 2013, aiming to build a trade and infrastructure network connecting Asia with Europe and Africa along and beyond the ancient Silk Road trade routes.