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Ministry of Foreign Affairs Holds Briefing for Chinese and Foreign Media on President Xi Jinping's State Visit to Finland and His Travel to the US for China-US Presidents' Meeting

On March 31, 2017, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs held a briefing for Chinese and foreign media. Vice Foreign Ministers Wang Chao and Zheng Zeguang respectively introduced relevant information on President Xi Jinping's forthcoming state visit to Finland, and his travel to the US for China-US Presidents' meeting, and answered questions from journalists.

Ⅰ. On State Visit to Finland

Wang Chao said that President Xi Jinping will pay a state visit to Finland from April 4 to 6. This is President Xi Jinping's first visit to the Northern Europe as the head of state. During the visit, President Xi Jinping will hold talks with President Sauli Niinistö, attend the welcoming ceremony and signing ceremony, jointly meet the press and attend welcome banquet, as well as meet with Prime Minister Juha Sipilä and Speaker of Parliament Maria Lohela. President Xi Jinping and leaders of Finland will exchange views on China-Finland relations, China-Europe relations, the respective development paths and international and regional issues of common concern, in order to build more consensus, jointly seek cooperation visions and draw a blueprint for the future development of China-Finland relations. Both sides will also sign a series of cooperation documents.

Wang Chao pointed out that China and Finland enjoy a traditional friendship. Finland was one of the first Western countries to establish diplomatic relations with the People's Republic of China and the first Western country to sign an inter-governmental trade agreement with China. In recent years, China-Finland relations have maintained a sound development momentum. In 2013, President Xi Jinping and President Sauli Niinistö had reached important consensus on building and advancing the future-oriented new-type cooperative partnership between both countries, which charts the course for the development of bilateral relations. Both countries maintain close high-level exchanges, constantly enhance political mutual trust, continuously deepen practical cooperation in various fields, yield many cooperation highlights in high and new technology, clean energy, innovation, entrepreneurship, scientific research in the Arctic and other fields, and intensify people-to-people and cultural exchanges, achieving fruitful results. Finland is a competitive country in winter sports, and China will host the 2022 Winter Olympic Games. Both sides hope to strengthen exchanges and cooperation in winter sports. The development strategies of both countries highly match with one another and enjoy great cooperation potential. It is believed that the visit will elevate the level of China-Finland relations, promote the in-depth development of cooperation between China and Northern Europe and advance the construction of China-Europe four major partnerships featuring peace, growth, reform and civilization.

II. On Travel to the US for China-US Presidents' Meeting

Zheng Zeguang noted that President Xi Jinping will travel to Mar-a-lago, Florida of the US from April 6 to 7, and hold the China-US Presidents' meeting with President Donald Trump. This is the first meeting between Presidents of both countries since the new US administration took office, which is of great importance to chart the course for the development of China-US relations in the new era, push bilateral relations for the healthy, stable and positive development on a new starting point, and advance peace, stability and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region as well as the world at large. The two heads of state will hold meetings and talks. President Xi Jinping and his wife, Mme. Peng Liyuan will attend the welcome banquet held by President Donald Trump and his wife, Mme. Melania Trump. Both sides will exchange in-depth views on China-US relations and major international and regional issues of common concern, enhance mutual understanding, and propel bilateral cooperation and exchanges, so as to indicate the direction and work out plans for the development of bilateral relations.

Zheng Zeguang pointed out that as the largest developing country and developed country as well as the top two largest economies in the world, China and the US share extensive common interests, and shoulder the important responsibilities to safeguard world peace and stability and advance global development and prosperity as well. Since the establishment of bilateral diplomatic relations, bilateral relations have achieved historic development under joint efforts of both sides, which brings tangible benefits to the two peoples and makes significant contributions to promoting peace, stability and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region and the world. Since the new leadership of the US government, China and the US have maintained close communication at all levels. Especially President Xi Jinping and President Donald Trump held telephone talks twice and exchanged multiple messages, and reached important consensus on the development of bilateral relations. They both believe that the two countries could totally become good cooperation partners, and expect to hold the meeting between the two heads of state at an early date. China and the US should earnestly implement the consensus reached by both heads, uphold the principles of no conflict, no confrontation, mutual respect and win-win cooperation, reinforce communication, expand cooperation, and push China-US relations for greater development on the new starting point, in a bid to better benefit the two peoples and people of the world. The Chinese side is willing to, together with the US, meet each other half way, intensify cooperation and meticulously manage all relevant work to ensure the meeting between the two heads of state a complete success.

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