COPENHAGEN, Jan. 27 (Xinhua) -- Danish Prime Minister Lars Loekke Rasmussen hopes the Year of the Rooster will be an opportunity to further upgrade Denmark-China partnership.
Denmark and China are already close strategic partners, and their relations between the two countries are like wine -- the older, the better, the prime minister said in a message to the Chinese people on the occasion of the Spring Festival that falls on Saturday.
"I am very pleased to wish the Chinese people a happy new year of the rooster," Rasmussen said.
"There is an old Chinese saying, that 'friendship is like wine -- the older the better'. The warm relations between China and Denmark prove just that," he said.
Rasmussen said Denmark and China have shared a wish of mutual understanding and prosperity for centuries, and the two countries have inspired each other in many ways.
He noted that the Danish author Hans Christian Andersen wrote a fairytale about ancient China, "The Nightingale."
"Likewise, the progress of modern China is a fairytale," the prime minister said. "Every time I visit your great country, I am struck by your drive, skills and grandness. You make the impossible possible."
"In Denmark we look forward to following and joining your journey of progress, in 2017 and beyond," he added.
China and Denmark will jointly launch the first ever "China-Denmark Year of Tourism" on Feb. 24 in Beijing.
"Denmark is honored to be the first European country to celebrate a year of tourism with China," Rasmussen said, noting that many interesting events will take place throughout the year.
Rasmussen said the ancient Danish capital city of Copenhagen is the favorite destination for Chinese tourists in Denmark.
Aarhus, Denmark's second largest city on the Jutland peninsula, has been designated as the European Capital of Culture in 2017.
The prime minister hopes that the Chinese tourists will also visit the city and celebrate the cultural event with the Danish people.