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China and Finland’s Leaders Attend the Inaugural Ceremony of the 2019 China-Finland Year of Winter Sports

Source:Xinhua15/01/2019 18:30

BEIJING, Jan. 14 (Xinhua) — Chinese President Xi Jinping and his visiting Finnish counterpart Sauli Niinisto today attended the inaugural ceremony of the 2019 China-Finland Year of Winter Sports.

China and Finland’s Leaders Attend the Inaugural Ceremony of the 2019 China-Finland Year of Winter Sports

Chinese President Xi Jinping (2nd R) and his Finnish counterpart Sauli Niinisto (2nd L) attend the inaugural ceremony of the 2019 China-Finland Year of Winter Sports in Beijing, capital of China, Jan. 14, 2019. (Xinhua/Shen Hong)

During the 1952 Helsinki Olympic Games, the People's Republic of China made its debut at the Olympic Games, and for the first time China's national flag was raised at the Olympic arena, Xi said.

There is huge potential for cooperation on winter sports between the two countries given the high complementarity, Xi said while addressing the inaugural ceremony.

"I believe the 2019 China-Finland Year of Winter Sports will boost the two countries' sports cooperation, inject new vitality to people-to-people exchanges, and further advance the future-oriented new-type cooperative partnership between China and Finland," Xi said.

China and Finland’s Leaders Attend the Inaugural Ceremony of the 2019 China-Finland Year of Winter Sports

Chinese President Xi Jinping (2nd R) and his Finnish counterpart Sauli Niinisto (2nd L) attend the inaugural ceremony of the 2019 China-Finland Year of Winter Sports in Beijing, capital of China, Jan. 14, 2019. (Xinhua/Huang Jingwen)

Finland supports China in hosting the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic Games, Niinisto said, adding that he is glad Finland will be the first country to launch the Year of Winter Sports with China and he believes this will further promote friendship between the two countries.

China is on its way of becoming a big power in winter sports and Finland is willing to lend a helping hand, Niinisto said.

Niinisto is paying a state visit to China from Sunday to Wednesday at the invitation of Xi.