The Finnish Embassy in Beijing gave a reception on Thursday to Mark the 70th Anniversary of the establishment of Diplomatic Relations between China & Finland.

The Reception at the Finnish Ambassador’s Residence started with the Solo of Dilber, a Finnish soprano who was born in Northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, to the accompaniment by Chinese Pianist Zhang Jialin.

Finnish Ambassador to China Jarno Syrjala spoke of the achievements in the two countries at the reception.

“China has risen to the ranks of the great powers, or super powers, both politically and economically. Finland has become a modern Western democracy and welfare state, known in China for high competence and education,” said the Ambassador.

Matti Anttonen, Permanent State Secretary of Finland’s Ministry for Foreign Affairs, attended the reception virtually. He praised China’s efforts to fight COVID-19 not only within its borders, but also uphold global solidarity against the pandemic.

“China’s efforts to control the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic in China and globally have been recognized. Finland warmly welcomes China’s announcement to join COVAX, the international effort to distribute COVID-19 vaccines. It is both a global and national responsibility for all of us to take the necessary measures to bring the pandemic to an end,” said the Secretary.

China’s special representative on European Affairs, Wu Hongbo, echoed Finnish officials’ determination to fight COVID-19

“All of us have very heavy responsibilities to beat back the pandemic, to stabilize and recover the national economy and improve the living standards of our peoples,” said Wu.

As one of the first Western Countries to establish diplomatic relations with China, bilateral ties between the two Countries have flourished from Cooperation in the Belt & Road Initiative to increased transportation links.

Ambassador Syrjala noted China has now become Finland’s fourth largest trading partner. He also said that in times of crisis or economic distress, people can easily become short-sighted and get distracted from their long-term goals.

However, he would like to see Finland and China cooperate more on tackling their common challenges in a sustainable manner, something which would also offer more opportunities for both Finnish and Chinese businesses.