Interview: Danish PM says upcoming visit to China to bring ties to new high

Source: Xinhua| 2017-04-30 18:02:55|Editor: xuxin
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COPENHAGEN, April 30 (Xinhua) -- Danish Prime Minister Lars Loekke Rasmussen said that his forthcoming visit to China will boost the close China-Denmark relations to a new high.

"This will be the first official visit by a Danish Head of Government to China since 2008, and we will now take our bilateral relationship to a new high," Rasmussen told Chinese media in a written interview ahead of his visit to China on May 2-5 at the invitation of Chinese Premier Li Keqiang.

Chinese President Xi Jinping, Premier Li Keqiang and top Chinese legislator Zhang Dejiang will meet or hold talks with Rasmussen during the visit. The two sides will exchange views on bilateral ties and issues of common concern, said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang while announcing the visit on April 25.


Rasmussen said China is Denmark's largest trading partner in Asia. Bilateral ties in politics and trade and between the two peoples have been promoted since Denmark became the first in 2008 and so far the only Nordic country to sign an agreement on comprehensive strategic partnership with China.

"That partnership has given a strong boost to our bilateral relations," Rasmussen said.

According to the prime minister, bilateral trade has increased remarkably to more than 110 billion Danish kroner (around 16.11 billion U.S. dollars) a year at present, citing data from the country's statistical authorities.

"Danish companies have strongholds in the fields that China values more and more these years, such as environment, energy, health care, pharmaceuticals, food and agricultural products, design and logistical services," Rasmussen said.


Rasmussen said a wide range of new agreements will be signed between the two countries during his visit.

"The new agreements will strengthen our economic and trade cooperation," he said.

According to the prime minister, Denmark and China will launch a Chinese-Danish Food and Drug Regulatory Cooperation Center that will help facilitate knowledge-sharing between public authorities in the two countries.

"This will serve the benefit of consumers with faster and smoother access to high-quality products," he said.

In terms of cultural and people-to-people exchanges, Rasmussen said the two countries will sign a bilateral film agreement that allows China and Denmark to work on co-productions in the film industry.

"Danish movies and TV-series have gained international acclaim, and I personally feel that Denmark has a lot to offer in this area," he said.

During his visit, China and Denmark will launch the first "Joint Work Program," which contains 58 concrete joint cooperation areas between 80 Chinese and Danish state institutions. "This will take the cooperation between our institutions one important step further," Rasmussen said.


Rasmussen said Denmark and China enjoy close cooperation on international issues, as the two countries have been trading nations and strong supporters of free trade and global cooperation.

He noted that Denmark is one of the co-founders of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and one of the first Western countries to declare support for the multilateral development bank, which he said would stimulate development and infrastructure construction in Asia.

On global climate issues, Rasmussen said China had taken a leading role in addressing these challenges.

"We applaud any engagement that helps address this serious threat. We believe that Danish experiences -- with an economic model that does not depend on increasing energy usage -- can serve as inspiration," he said.

Rasmussen noted that China is currently the second-largest economy in the world and is set to become the largest in the next decade.

"Anything that China does will have an effect not only on Asia but also on the rest of the world. We wish to join China on this trip."


Rasmussen said China's Belt and Road Initiative is a very interesting diplomatic strategy.

"Further connecting Europe and Asia firmly through trade and bilateral cooperation can hopefully be a future dynamo for growth and prosperity for both continents," said the prime minister.

The Belt and Road Initiative, which comprises the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, was brought up by Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2013, with the aim of building a trade and infrastructure network connecting Asia with Europe and Africa along the ancient Silk Road routes.

In the interview, Rasmussen said the initiative can hopefully provide economic stability and development for Central and South Asia -- gateways between East Asia and Europe.

"This will be crucial for trade between the two biggest concentrations of economic power," he said, adding that Denmark, as one of the world's foremost shipping nations, has already been engaged in linking the continents for centuries.

Denmark has been invited to participate in the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation to be held on May 14-15 in Beijing.

"We will attend and be happy to contribute positively on both political and company levels during the conference," Rasmussen said.


Earlier this year, the two countries jointly launched the China-Denmark Tourism Year 2017 in Beijing. Rasmussen said he hopes to see more Danes visiting China as well as more Chinese visiting Denmark.

"Tourism is a very important part of improving people-to-people exchanges and this was why I first launched the idea with your president Xi Jinping in 2016. Now it has become a reality and it has created a momentum for the relevant national tourism authorities as well as private companies to further explore opportunities for citizens in our two countries to travel abroad," Rasmussen said.

The prime minister said the Danish government has recently streamlined visa procedures for Chinese tourists to Denmark, and would make it easier for designated travelling companies in China to offer interesting trips to Denmark.

"We are very fond of this development, and look forward to receiving many more Chinese visitors to Denmark," he said.