By Zhang Maorong, researcher with the China Institute of Contemporary International Relations; cartoon drawing by Liao Tingting
On April 4-6, Chinese President Xi Jinping paid a state visit to Finland. The country has been dubbed a kingdom of thousands lakes. The host country dispatched two fighters to escort Xi's plane after it entered Finland's airspace.
During the visit, Chinese President Xi held talks with his Finnish counterpart Sauli Niinisto and met Prime Minister Juha Sipila and Speaker Maria Lohela.
In a joint declaration, China and Finland confirmed the establishment of a future-oriented new-type cooperative partnership, drawing a blueprint for and charting the course of the development of bilateral relations.
Xi's visit was the first state visit by a Chinese head of state to the Nordic country in 22 years. His trip marks a new milestone in the history of China-Finland ties. It is expected to enhance political mutual trust and the level of bilateral relations, strengthen strategic docking for bilateral economic development, and to deepen pragmatic cooperation in such areas as innovation, winter sports, the Belt and Road Initiative and giant panda research.
Xi's trip has consolidated the Sino-Finnish friendship. China, homeland to the giant panda and Finland, homeland to Santa Claus ushers in a historic handshake.
Moreover, Xi's Finland trip is expected to inject a new impetus to China's cooperation with the Nordic sub-region and promote the upgrade of China-EU overall relations.
(The opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Panview or CCTV.com)