Xi Jinping, President of the People’s Republic of China, begins his state visit of Finland today. Joined by a delegation that includes his wife and First Lady of China Peng Liyuan, President Xi will remain in Finland until Thursday, 6 April. He will then fly out to Mar-a-Lago, Florida, where he will meet US President Donald Trump.
Xi’s stay in Finland is only the second such visit by a Chinese President and the first for over 20 years. It also represents President Xi’s first visit to a North European country as head of state, as well as his first tour to an EU member this year.
Finnish President Sauli Niinistö and First Lady of Finland Jenni Haukio will receive President Xi and his wife at the Presidential Palace in Helsinki on Wednesday, 5 April. They are scheduled to hold talks concerning political and economic relations between the two countries. International affairs will also be discussed, such as the partnership between China and the EU.
The visit is also seen as a way of commemorating the longstanding relationship between Finland and China, as well as Finland’s centenary year. As President Xi mentioned in his exclusive letter to the Helsinki Times, Finland was one of the first Western countries to establish diplomatic ties with China. There’s a belief that this relationship will only be strengthened in the next few days.
Dan Anderson – HT
Photo: Lehtikuva / AFP / POOL