The story appears on

Page A6

March 8, 2018

GET this page in PDF

Free for subscribers

View shopping cart

Related News

Home » Nation

Finnish president hails China over Belt and Road, Arctic white paper

AS China’s top legislative and political advisory bodies hold their annual meetings, Finnish President Sauli Niinisto says he believes the “two sessions” and the decisions taken therein will have global significance.

Among other items on the agenda for the “two sessions” are amending China’s constitution, passing new laws, deliberating a plan on the reform of State institutions, and deciding a new State leadership.

“Those are very important meetings and very important decisions will be taken there,” Niinisto said in a recent interview with Xinhua, adding that the decisions will be of great significance for the whole world.

He highlighted the China-proposed Belt and Road initiative and Beijing’s first white paper on Arctic-related cooperation.

China first proposed the Belt and Road initiative in 2013, which advocates better economic connectivity, political coordination and cultural exchanges among different continents and regions. Beijing further envisioned a Polar Silk Road in a document released earlier this year.

Finland is the current chair of the Arctic Council. Niinisto noted that China’s first white paper on Arctic policy is in line with international law and the proposal to build a Polar Silk Road will promote understanding among relevant parties. The Chinese policy document, released on January 26, “respects international law, especially the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea”, the leader added.

He said it is important that Arctic players have something in common so that peace is maintained in the region.

China would like to “jointly understand, protect, develop and participate in the governance of the Arctic, and advance Arctic-related cooperation under the Belt and Road initiative”, according to the white paper.

It also says that the B&R will create opportunities for the parties concerned to jointly build a Polar Silk Road, and facilitate connectivity and sustainable development of the Arctic region.

The Polar Silk Road is not only a plan for more roads, railways and shipping routes, but also a vision for promoting understanding among different peoples, Niinisto said.

More discussions are needed to explore the possibility of combining the B&R and a European Union’s strategy plan to deepen connection with Asia, he added.

Niinisto echoed President Xi Jinping’s vision of building a shared future for mankind.

“We are more and more dependent on each other, and a shared future in my eyes means better connectivity, better mutual understanding, and a peaceful life where we can learn from each other,” the Finn said.

Niinisto praised China’s achievements in lifting tens of millions of people out of poverty over the past decades, saying he hopes such efforts will continue.

He noted that people in the Western world, including Finland, are “having a very keen eye on the Chinese economy,” as it has a huge impact on the international economy.


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend