The year 2010 marked the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the People's Republic of China and the Republic of Finland. Friendship and cooperation between the two countries were further strengthened.
There were frequent high-level exchanges and solid political mutual trust. In March, Vice President Xi Jinping paid an official visit to Finland. He met and held talks with President Tarja Halonen, Speaker of the Parliament Sauli Niinisto and Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen, and attended the signing ceremony with President Halonen for a number of agreements, including the Memorandum of Understanding Between the Government of the People's Republic of China and the Government of the Republic of Finland on Cooperation in the Fields of Education, Science, Culture, Youth and Sport, the Memorandum of Understanding Between the Ministry of Commerce of the People's Republic of China and the Ministry of Employment and the Economy of the Republic of Finland on the Establishment of Working Group of Energy Saving and Environmental Protection in the Fields of Economy and Trade under the China-Finland Joint Commission on Economy, Industry and Technology, the Memorandum of Understanding Between the Ministry of Commerce of the People's Republic of China and the Ministry of Employment and the Economy of the Republic of Finland on Promotion of the Establishment of the China-Finland Innovation Center in Finland, as well as eight commercial contracts worth US$4 trillion. The two sides agreed to use the visit as an opportunity to bring bilateral ties to a higher level. In May, President Halonen visited China for the celebration of the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations and the National Pavilion Day events of Finland at the Shanghai World Expo. She met with President Hu Jintao, Vice Premier Li Keqiang and CPPCC Vice Chairman Wang Gang. During the meeting, President Hu said that the celebration of the 60th anniversary would provide the two sides with an opportunity to enhance understanding, deepen friendship, expand cooperation and open up a brighter future for China-Finland friendship and cooperation. President Halonen and Vice Premier Li attended the opening ceremony of the Cleantech China Finland Seminar and the signing ceremony for 15 bilateral agreements and commercial contracts worth 1.5 billion euros. In March, Speaker Niinisto visited China and held talks and meeting with NPC Chairman Wu Bangguo and Vice Premier Li Keqiang. In October, Prime Minister Mari Kiviniemi attended the Closing Ceremony and the Summit Forum of the Shanghai World Expo and met with Premier Wen. In 2010, eight ministers and over a dozen vice ministers of Finland visited China. And more than 70 high-level delegations, including one led by NPC Vice Chairman Zheng Wantong, visited Finland.
Trade and investment volume quickly picked up. The two countries extended cooperation beyond such traditional areas as telecommunications, forestry and paper, and machinery to include emerging sectors such as innovation, energy conservation and environmental protection. China remained Finland's largest trading partner in Asia and the fourth largest globally. In May, the State Administration of Taxation of China and the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Development of Finland signed in Beijing a new agreement for the avoidance of double taxation and the prevention of fiscal evasion with respect to taxes on income and its protocol.
Cultural and people-to-people exchanges had been fruitful. In January, the fourth "Happy Chinese New Year" art activities, participated by the Beijing Opera Theater and others, attracted more than 30,000 people in Finland. An array of art performances and exhibitions such as an exhibition of art works by Finnish women painters, performances given by the Shanghai Ballet Company, and the "5,000 years of Chinese Silk Exhibition" were staged in China and Finland. Finland took an active part in the Shanghai World Expo. Its pavilion, known as the Kirnu, attracted 5.7 million visitors and was awarded the Best Pavilion Design in category B.
Exchanges between localities were robust. Mayor of Beijing Guo Jinlong, Chairman of the CPPCC Gansu Provincial Committee Chen Xueheng, Vice Governor of Hubei Zhao Bin, Vice Governor of Henan Zhang Dawei and Vice Governor of Yunnan Li Jiang visited Finland.