On 18 October 2013, Vice Foreign Minister Song Tao at request met with former Prime Minister of Finland Paavo Lipponen, who is visiting China at the invitation of the Chinese People's Institute of Foreign affairs. Jari Gustafsson, Finnish Ambassador to China, and others were present. Both sides exchanged views mainly on China-Finland relations, China-EU relations and other issues.
Song Tao expressed that China-Finland relations are in the best period in history with huge potentials for bilateral cooperation in all fields. China is ready to work with Finland to promote the new type of cooperative partnership facing the future, to unceasingly strengthen political mutual trust and to fully deepen exchanges and cooperation in all fields. Song Tao said that China always treats EU from a strategic perspective and firmly supports the process of European integration. The stability, prosperity and development in Europe are conducive to the interest of China and will as well play an important role in global peace and development.
Lipponen expressed that Finland-China relations have now entered a new period and are moving to one high level after another. Finland hopes to strengthen cooperation with China at all levels and in various fields, especially in Finland's fields of strength including clean technology. EU-China relations are crucially important to the future of EU and both sides can cooperate more in global free trade and other fields.