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Chinese president attends ceremony for return of Gotheborg replica

Source: Xinhuanet | 06-11-2007 09:04

Special Report:   President Hu attends G8

Chinese President Hu Jintao (2nd L), accompanied by Swedish King Carl XVI Gustaf (3rd L), steers the replica of the 18th century Swedish merchant ship "Gotheborg" as they attend a ceremony for the return of the vessel from a China tour, in Goteborg, Sweden, on June 9, 2007. (Xinhua/Ju Peng)

GOTEBORG, Sweden, June 9 (Xinhua) -- Visiting Chinese President Hu Jintao and Swedish King Carl XVI Gustaf attended a ceremony here Saturday for the return of a replica of ship Gotheborg from China, and both leaders pledged to work together to promote bilateral cooperation.

Speaking at the ceremony, President Hu said that he was pleased to attend the ceremony and witness a historic occasion in China-Sweden friendship.

Despite the great distance between China and Sweden, the people of the two countries have had a long history of friendly association with much mutual goodwill between them, said the Chinese president, who arrived in Sweden on Friday for a state visit.

In 1732, a merchant ship of Swedish East India Company sailed for Guangzhou from the port city of Goteborg, inaugurating Sweden's trade with China.

Over 270 years later, the replica of Gotheborg, which was built last year, set sail on a voyage to China along the ancient maritime Silk Road. The ship returned to Goteborg Harbor on Saturday.

"Sailing more than halfway around the world, the new Goteborg has built a bridge of friendship linking our two peoples. It has boosted our exchanges and cooperation in economic, trade and cultural areas, thus successfully completing its noble mission of enhancing Sweden's friendship with China," Hu said.

He said the China-Sweden relations now enjoy a strong momentum for growth and that bilateral exchanges and cooperation have expanded in the political field, in economy and trade, science and technology, culture, education and environmental protection.

The Chinese government and people value their ties with Sweden and friendship with the Swedish people and view the China-Sweden relations from a strategic and long-term perspective, he said.

"We will continue to work with you to enhance mutual political trust and expand pragmatic cooperation" to ensure that the China-Sweden relations will grow continuously and that the two peoples will remain good friends and trusted partners of all-around cooperation for generations to come, the Chinese leader said.

"I am confident that with the fresh momentum created by the voyage of the new Gotheborg and joint efforts of the two peoples, the China-Sweden friendship will continue to flourish," he said.

In his speech, the Swedish king said China has become Sweden's most important trade partner in Asia and there are still many opportunities for such cooperation.

President Hu, who is currently on a three-day state visit to Sweden, arrived in Goteborg from Stockholm earlier in the day.


Editor:Du Xiaodan