China, Sweden stress free trade, sustainable development

Stockholm, June 4 (IANS) Visiting Chinese top political advisor Yu Zhengsheng and Swedish Parliament Speaker Per Westerberg have stressed the importance of free trade and sustainable development.

During their meeting in the Swedish capital Stockholm Monday, Yu told Westerberg that countries should refrain from adopting trade protectionist measures in times of globalization. Westerberg agreed with Yu, and said Sweden would join efforts with China and would continue to safeguard free and fair trade, reported Xinhua.

Noting the challenges China is facing with regards to biological and environmental protection as well as natural resources and energy, Yu, chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, added that China is attaching more importance to environment protection and is committed to sustainable development.

He said the two countries should strengthen cooperation in these fields.

In his meeting with Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt on the same day, Yu also expressed his gratitude towards the Swedish side for their "understanding and support" in the ongoing China-EU dispute over solar panels and China's new observer status in the Arctic Council.

He said China's development would provide enormous opportunities for other countries including Sweden, but would also contribute significantly to world peace, stability and development.

On his part, Bildt said although Sweden and China have differences in some fields, both sides have been devoted to enhancing dialogues, mutual understanding and cooperation.

Swedish King Carl XVI Gustaf, in another meeting with Yu Monday, said he was impressed by China's economic achievements, especially its fast development of infrastructure such as the railway system. He said he hoped the two sides could further strengthen bilateral cooperation.

Yu arrived in the southern Swedish city of Gothenburg late Sunday. Sweden is the second leg of Yu's nordic trip which will also take him to Denmark.

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