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President Hu makes historic trip to Denmark

Publication Date : 16-06-2012

 

Chinese President Hu Jintao pledged yesterday to increase bilateral cooperation with Denmark, especially cultural exchanges, as he met Queen Margrethe II during a historic visit to the country.

Hu's visit is the first by a Chinese head of state since the two countries established diplomatic ties 62 years ago.

During a meeting with the Danish royal couple, Hu, accompanied by his wife Liu Yongqing, said he appreciated the efforts that Queen Margrethe II and the royal family had made for China-Denmark relations.

Denmark was one of the first Western countries to establish diplomatic ties with the People's Republic of China after it was founded in 1949. The royal couple paid a visit to China in 1979, becoming the first leaders from a Nordic country to visit the nation.

Hu said China attaches importance to its relations with Denmark and is ready to enhance friendly exchanges and cooperation with the country on the basis of mutual respect, equality and mutual interest, and push forward the comprehensive strategic ties between the two.

Hu also urged the two countries to join efforts in pushing forward cultural exchanges, which help deepen the people-to-people understandings.

The royal couple said the Danish people have been expecting Hu's visit, and believe his visit will enhance bilateral cooperation in trade and sustainable development.

Hu's trip to Denmark is the second top-level visit by a Chinese official to Scandinavia in less than two months. Premier Wen Jiabao traveled to Iceland and Sweden in April, forging closer business and diplomatic ties. Denmark, which is a member of the European Union, has opted out of the euro.

Hu on Friday also joined Queen Margrethe II on the royal yacht Dannebrog to tour the Copenhagen harbor, which features green developments.

Denmark is a world leader in wind energy, meeting roughly a quarter of its electricity needs with wind, and is the home to the world's biggest wind turbine manufacturer.

ccording to an energy plan adopted by Denmark this year, wind power is expected to account for half of the country's electricity demand by 2020, with renewable energy accounting for about 35 per cent of total energy demand.

The Danish Foreign Ministry said China plans to invest US$423 billion in sustainable energy by 2020, with half of the money going toward wind power developments.

"China is expected to be the world's biggest market in 2014 for sustainable energy and already today is the biggest for wind power," the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

Green development should be a win-win cooperation field for China and Denmark, with Denmark finding a market for its firms and China promoting green energy to ease pressure due to rapid urbanisation and industrialisation, analysts said.

China expects more than 300 million people to move to cities in the next 20 years.

Hu is also expected to hold talks with the Danish prime minister on Saturday, and the two countries are expected to see intergovernmental and commercial agreements inked during Hu's visit.

Trade volume between Denmark and China has risen from $44 million in 1978, when China started opening up to the outside world, to $9.26 billion in 2011, a 210-fold growth in 33 years, according to figures from Chinese customs.

China is now the largest Asian trading partner of Denmark, whose economy is dependent on exports.

Fifty-four per cent of its gross domestic product comes from exports.

 

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