China and Sweden on Monday pledged to seek closer relations and strengthen cooperation in various areas during Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping's visit to Sweden.
During his stay, he met separately with Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt and Parliament Speaker Per Westerberg.
When meeting with Reinfeldt, Xi called for expanding Sino-Swedish cooperation to new areas.
To achieve the goal, Xi suggested both countries strengthen high-level dialogue, deepen trade and economic ties and increase people-to-people contact.
Sino-Swedish cooperation can expand from the traditional areas of machine-building, car manufacture, telecommunication, forestry, household electric appliance and textiles to the new fields of eco-city development, energy-saving and environment-protection technology, biology research and banking, Xi said.
On cultural cooperation, Xi said that China would renew the agreement on cultural exchange with Sweden, continue to support Chinese language teaching in Sweden and Confucius Institute improvement projects, encourage young people from both sides to participate more in exchange programs and increase the number of scholarships and government grants to students.
China encourages Sweden to make good use of the opportunities offered by the Shanghai expo and the 60th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic ties to hold exhibitions and performances in China to promote the mutual understanding and friendship between the peoples of Sweden and China, Xi said.
Hailing the rapid growth of bilateral relations, Prime Minister Reinfeldt said that Swedish exports to China increased 21 percent in 2009 in spite of the international financial crisis.
Reinfeldt also praised the efforts made by the Chinese delegation at the Copenhagen climate change conference, saying they were positive.
During his meeting with Westerberg, the Chinese vice president expressed willingness to develop closer ties between the legislatures of both countries.
Xi said that the National People's Congress (NPC), China's top legislature, has for long had friendly exchange with the Swedish parliament, and that exchange of visits between the two legislatures at various levels has become more frequent in recent years.【1】 【2】