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Xi urges winter sports teamwork

By An Baijie and Xu Wei | China Daily | Updated: 2019-01-15 08:40

President highlights great potential for cooperation while meeting with Finnish leader

China and Finland should make joint efforts to set an example for winter sports cooperation, President Xi Jinping said on Monday.

Xi made the remarks while meeting with Finnish President Sauli Niinisto at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. Witnessed by the two presidents, the two countries signed a number of cooperation documents.

After the signing ceremony, the two leaders attended the launching ceremony for the China-Finland Year of Winter Sports.

There is great potential for the two countries to enhance winter sports cooperation, Xi said, adding that the winter sports year event will inject new impetus into the two countries' people-to-people exchanges.

Noting that the two countries have a history of sports cooperation, Niinisto said Finland supports China in hosting the 2022 Winter Olympic Games.

During their talks, Xi said the two countries should uphold mutual respect and mutual trust, keep an open and inclusive mind, respect each other's development path and take each other's core interests into consideration.

China appreciates Finland's support of the Belt and Road Initiative and would like to enhance Belt and Road cooperation with the country, Xi said.

He proposed that the two countries should make full use of the advantages of the China-Europe railways, promote bilateral trade and seek cooperation opportunities on such projects as the exploitation of the North Pole navigation channel.

During the Finnish president's visit, the two countries will issue a joint action plan, which Xi said "will be a comprehensive road map for advancing all areas of our relationship".

China has always supported the integration of Europe and hopes that Europe will maintain unity, stability, openness and prosperity, Xi said.

Niinisto said Finland would also like to enhance cooperation with China in such areas as trade, innovation, environment and tourism.

Sampo Terho, Finland's minister for European affairs, culture and sports, told a media briefing in Beijing, "Closer cooperation on winter sports between China, the host of the 2022 Winter Olympics, and Finland, a traditional winter sports country, will greatly strengthen our bilateral ties."

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 Xi urges winter sports teamwork

President Xi Jinping and Finnish President Sauli Niinisto attend a ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Monday marking the launch of the 2019 China-Finland Year of Winter Sports.Feng Yongbin / China Daily

(China Daily 01/15/2019 page1)

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