GOTHENBURG, March 28 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping on Sunday visited an industry hub in southwest Sweden and met with Vastra Gotaland County Governor Lars Backstrom.
In his meeting with Lars Backstrom and Swedish Deputy Prime Minister Maud Olofsson, Xi said that this year marks the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Sweden and that his on-going visit to Sweden is aimed at further promoting friendly cooperation between the two countries through celebrating the anniversary.
Both the city of Gothenburg and Vastra Gotaland County with an important place in Sino-Swedish friendly exchanges and cooperation have played an irreplaceable role in the development of ties between the two countries, Xi said.
A replica of the 18th century wooden merchant ship Gotheborg, which reached the southern Chinese city of Canton several times in the late 1730s and early 1740s, is an important symbol for the friendly exchanges between China and Sweden, said Xi.
The 2006 return of the reconstructed Gotheborg to Canton and Shanghai has enhanced the friendship between the Chinese and Swedish peoples and thus helped a lot in promoting the growth of the bilateral relationship, Xi said.
The relations between the two countries are showing a strong momentum of development with cooperation in all fields deepening and personnel exchanges becoming closer, he said. Vastra Gotaland County as Sweden's industry hub and Gothenburg as a famous industrious and commercial city in North Europe enjoy many unique advantages in cooperation with China, the Chinese vice president said.
He said that the two sides should make full use of the favorable conditions to lift the bilateral relationship to a higher level.
Warmly welcoming Xi on behalf of the people of Vastra Gotaland County, Backstrom said Gothenburg is a city with a long and close relationship with China.
Since Xi's last visit to Gothenburg 31 years ago, relations between Sweden and China have been developing rapidly and China's development and the Beijing Olympic Games are so impressing, Backstrom said. Vastra Gotaland County hopes to strengthen its ties with China in economic cooperation, trade, culture, sport and the combat against the global climate change, he said.
On Sunday morning, Xi also visited the SKF company and he spoke highly of the Swedish company's business activities in China.