By Xi Jinping
President of the People’s Republic of China
For Helsinki Times
At the invitation of President Sauli Niinistö, I am delighted to pay a state visit to Finland in this beautiful spring season of budding plants and blooming flowers.
I have been to Finland twice before. Your scenic and unspoiled lakes and forests, your development philosophy that values diligence and innovation, and your kind and honest people all left me fond memories. Finland lies at the crossroads of Eastern and Western civilizations. Throughout the centuries, the Finns, with their “sisu” spirit, have forged ahead despite many vicissitudes and made remarkable achievements in national independence and prosperity. This country is home to the great composer Jean Sibelius and the well-regarded Linux operating system. It also has one of the highest rankings on the World Happiness Index and the Corruption Perceptions Index.