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Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland

History - Embassy of Finland, Beijing - Consulates General of Finland, Shanghai : Embassy : History


  • Embassy of Finland, Beijing
    Tel. +86-10-8519 8300,
  • Consulate General of Finland, Shanghai
    Tel. +86 21 5292 9900,
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Finland, alongside Norway, Denmark and Sweden, was among the very first Western countries to recognize the People's Republic of China. Finland recognized the People's Republic of China on 13th January 1950, and the two countries established diplomatic relations on 28th October of the same year.

The work of Finnish Embassy in Beijing started up in February 1952, after the arrival of Finnish personnel. Finland's first resident Ambassador to China, Helge von Knorring, presented his credentials to Chairman Mao Zedong 9th May 1952. Formerly Finnish Ambassador to China, Hugo Valvanne, was cross-accredited from New Delhi.

Embassy of Finland opened a commercial section in 1952 to promote the opening of trade relations between Finland and China. The economic and trade relations between the two countries started to develop rapidly under the lead of Ambassador Carl-Johan Sundström and China and Finland signed the Inter-Governmental Trade and Payment Agreement. It was the first one of its kind between China and Western Countries.

The quickening of development of bilateral relations

Due to both Sino-Soviet split starting from the end 1950's and the outbreak of cultural revolution in China in 1966, relations between Finland and China lead a quiet life in 1960's and the beginning of 1970's. However, Finland remained among the few Western European countries that have never suspended relations with China.

Subsequently, thanks to the Chinese policy of reform and opening-up to the outside world, relations between our two countries have become considerably more active. Establishment of Finnish companies in China, which started in 1980's and has been on the increase since the beginning of 1990's to date has helped to develop relations between Finland and China. Since the early 1990's at least one member of Council of State has visited China annually and many more during most of the years.

High-level visits and the diplomatic work in the 21st century

Vice-Premier Geng Biao started the high-level exchange of visits in 1979. President Mauno Koivisto paid the first visit as the Head of State of Finland to China in 1988. The first visit by the Head of State of China to Finland was paid by President Jiang Zemin in July 1995. President Martti Ahtisaari visited China in 1996.

The subtex for the work of Embassy of Finland in beginning of the 21st century is the good relations between Finland and China. President Sauli Niinistö paid a visit to China in April 2013, and Prime Minister Jyrki Katainen soon after him in September 2013. The 65th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Finland and China was celebrated in 2015.

Finnish Ambassadors to People's Republic of China

  • Hugo Valvanne, Envoy (New Delhi) 1950–1952
  • Helge von Knorring, Envoy 1952–1953
  • Carl-Johan Sundström, Envoy 1953–1954, Ambassador 1954–1959
  • Hugo Valvanne, Ambassador 1959–1961
  • Joel Toivola, Ambassador 1961–1967
  • Veli Helenius, Ambassador 1967–1974
  • Martti Salomies, Ambassador 1974–1976
  • Pentti Suomela, Ambassador 1976–1984
  • Risto Hyvärinen, Ambassador 1984–1989
  • Arto Mansala, Ambassador 1989–1992
  • Ilkka Ristimäki, Ambassador 1992–1997
  • Pasi Rutanen, Ambassador 1997–2001
  • Benjamin Bassin, Ambassador 2001–2005
  • Antti Kuosmanen, Ambassador 2005–2009
  • Lars Backström, Ambassador 2009-2013
  • Jari Gustafsson, Ambassador 2013-2015
  • Marja Rislakki, Ambassador 2015-2017
  • Jarno Syrjälä, Ambassador 2017 -

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Updated 9/5/2017

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