Parliamentary speakers from Nordic and Baltic countries showed great interest in new technologies being developed in China on Wednesday, hoping to encourage innovation and cooperation with their homelands.
Delegates from seven countries, including Finland and Sweden, are visiting the country from Sunday to Saturday at the invitation of China's top legislator, Zhang Dejiang.
Maria Lohela, speaker of Finland's Parliament, expressed her interest in technologies when she was asked whether she had heard about new Chinese inventions in high-speed trains, mobile payments, online shopping and shared bicycles.
"I love all kinds of technologies," she said. "We are doing well in Finland, and we should do better."
She applauded China's efforts in innovation, adding that the Finnish government is also encouraging technology startups and catching up with China's pace.
Eva Thalen Finne, Sweden's deputy speaker of Parliament, said information about online shopping, mobile payments and shared bikes impressed her a lot.
"Innovation drives the economy," she said, adding that cooperation is also important for small countries like Sweden.
In addition to innovation, the Belt and Road Initiative and the fight against corruption were also heatedly discussed among the speakers.
Inara Murniece, Latvia's speaker of Parliament, said anti-graft work is an ongoing and everyday matter. She also highlighted the importance of public demand and regarded it as a powerful force.
She added that the Belt and Road Initiative promoted by President Xi Jinping is important for her nation, as well as beneficial for all countries involved.
"I would say the initiative is a good dream," Murniece said. "We had a meeting on the integration of the initiative into the European economic circle, and the connectivity between Europe and China will benefit all countries."
Before the group interview, the delegation met with Xi on Wednesday. They showed each other's core interests and major concerns following a principle of mutual benefit, equal treatment and inclusiveness during the meeting.