President Hu Jintao said in Beijing yesterday that China hopes to expand cooperation with Sweden to push bilateral ties to a higher level.
"China values friendly cooperative ties with Sweden and hopes to improve friendly exchanges and expand cooperation on the basis of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit," Hu said in a meeting with Swedish King Carl XVI Gustaf.
King Carl XVI and Queen Silvia are in China on a six-day state visit.
Hu reviewed the development of China-Sweden ties over the past 56 years, saying that their relations have kept improving despite changes in international situations.
Sweden was the first Western country to recognize the People's Republic of China. The two countries forged diplomatic ties in 1950.
Hu thanked the Swedish government for its consistent adherence to the one-China policy and its positive attitude toward developing relations with China.
He also expressed China's appreciation to the Swedish king and the royal family for their contributions to promoting China-Sweden friendly cooperative ties.
King Carl XVI said the friendship between Sweden and China dates back centuries and the Swedish royal family has a keen interest for Chinese history and culture.
Speaking on bilateral economic and trade cooperation, King Carl XVI said China's rapid development created new business opportunities for Swedish enterprises and Sweden hopes to expand cooperation with China in trade, science, technology, education and environmental protection.
King Carl XVI's visit coincides with the arrival of a replica of the 18th century Swedish merchant ship Gotheborg in south China's Guangdong Province after a nine-month voyage.
King Carl XVI will attend a series of activities commemorating the Gotheborg, which mysteriously sank off Sweden's coast in 1745 with a cargo of Chinese porcelain, silk and tea.
(Xinhua News Agency July 21, 2006)