First official visit to Sweden by China’s new generation of leaders

The visit of China’s top political advisor to Sweden would inject fresh vitality into relations between the two countries, Chinese Ambassador to Sweden Lan Lijun said.

Lan made the remarks in an interview with Xinhua on the eve of an official visit by Yu Zhengsheng, chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC).

“This will be Yu’s first overseas visit after he took office, and the first official visit to Sweden by China’s new generation of leaders,” he said.

Such a visit would also greatly accelerate bilateral cooperation in various fields, Lan added.

He said the two countries have witnessed sound development of bilateral relations in recent years, with frequent reciprocal high-level visits and enhanced political mutual trust.

Despite Europe’s debt crisis, economic and trade relations between China and Sweden remain stable. Last year, the bilateral trade volume amounted to 13.3 billion US dollars.

Furthermore, they have carried out active two-way investment and jointly developed a lot of large-scale cooperation projects, Lan said.

Meanwhile, their cooperation on environmental protection, sustainable development and innovation has entered a new stage, he said.

“There have been ever increasing exchanges and communication in the fields of science, education and culture,” Lan said, adding that in 2011 the two countries signed a letter of intent on education and scientific cooperation.

“Last year, Chinese writer Mo Yan won the Noble Prize for literature, which boosted the Swedish people’s interest in the Chinese culture,” he said.

Lan said the Swedish government has also decided to set up courses on the Chinese language in some primary and secondary schools, while the Chinese government decided to establish a cultural center in Stockholm, the first of its kind in northern European nations.

“The comprehensive development of China-Sweden relations have benefited the two peoples and will also lay a more solid foundation for the future cooperation between the two countries,” he added.

In 1950, Sweden became the first Western country to establish diplomatic relations with China. Over the past 63 years, the two countries have deepened communication in such fields as politics, business and trade, environmental protection, education, science and technology, and culture.

Lan voiced belief that China and Sweden have great potential in the development of bilateral relations, saying that based on the enhanced political mutual trust, the two countries should continue to explore new ideas and promote cooperation to achieve a higher level of mutual benefit.

The ambassador said that during Yu’s visit, the top Chinese political advisor is scheduled to meet Swedish leaders on bilateral relations and cooperation, as well as international and regional issues of common concern.

“His visit will further strengthen the traditional relationship between China and Sweden, enrich the content of cooperation, and promote the relations of friendship and cooperation into a new stage,” Lan said.


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