Ulkoministeriö / Utrikesministeriet

MFA: Foreign Minister Haavisto meets with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi

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Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto met with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi today in Chengdu, Southwest China, and held discussions with him on bilateral issues, EU-China relations and some key international questions.

Bilateral issues between Finland and China included international mobility and air and freight transport, as well as cooperation between the two countries in winter sports as Beijing prepares to host the Winter Olympics in February 2022. Haavisto invited China to join the Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action and the Arctic Council Expert Group on Black Carbon and Methane. Sustainable development and climate issues also featured prominently in the discussion on cooperation between the EU and China. Haavisto emphasised the necessity of China’s contribution to joint climate efforts. There are high expectations for the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP15), which China will host in Kunming this autumn, and the event could end up being a key step in the implementation of China's climate promises. During the discussion, Foreign Minister Haavisto also raised topical questions related to cybersecurity.

He also underlined the importance of ongoing dialogue between the EU and China, which are important trade partners for one another. The conditions for moving forward with the EU-China investment agreement are not currently in place, but it is important for both parties to seek a solution in this respect. Ratification of the agreement would be important for both European and Chinese businesses.

Haavisto expressed serious concerns about the human rights situation in Xinjiang and the political situation in Hong Kong. Despite the differences in their views, the EU and China must be able to cooperate effectively, because their joint efforts are needed in order to tackle global problems and resolve international crises. With regard to international issues, the Foreign Ministers discussed topics including the situations in Ethiopia, Myanmar and Afghanistan, and international cooperation in the Arctic.

Minister for Foreign Affairs Haavisto also raised the issue of reviving the Helsinki Spirit, an initiative President of the Republic Sauli Niinistö has presented to Chinese President Xi Jinping, among others.

In addition to his meeting with Foreign Minister Wang, Haavisto had a telephone conversation with the Governor of Sichuan Province, Huang Qiang. Finland has a decades-long history of relations with the province in areas ranging from forest cooperation and the panda protection programme to ICT sector cooperation.

Inquiries: Turo Mattila, Diplomatic Adviser to the Minister for Foreign Affairs, tel. +358 50 344 3890 and Eevamaria Mielonen, Project Officer, Unit for Eastern Asia and Oceania, tel. +358 50 357 6101.

The Foreign Ministry’s email addresses are in the format firstname.lastname@formin.fi.

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