Browsing by Author "Arho Havrén, Sari"

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  • Arho Havrén, Sari (Helsingin yliopisto, 2009)
    "We have neither Eternal Friends nor Eternal Enemies. We have only Eternal Interests .Finland's Relations with China 1949-1989 The study focuses on the relations between Finland and the People s Republic of China from 1949-1989 and examines how a small country became embroiled in international politics, and how, at the same time, international politics affected Finnish-Chinese relations and Finland s China policy formulation. The study can be divided into three sections: relations during the early years, 1949-1960, before the Chinese and Soviet rift became public; the relations during the passive period during the 1960s and 1970s; and the impact of China s Open Door policy on Finland s China policy from 1978-1989. The diplomatically challenging events around Tiananmen Square and the reactions which followed in Finland bring the study to a close. Finland was among the first Western countries to recognise the People s Republic and to establish diplomatic relations with her, thereby giving Finland an excellent position from which to further develop good relations. Finland was also the first Western country to sign a trade agreement with China. These two factors meant that Finland was able to enjoy a special status with China during the 1950s. The special status was further strengthened by the systematic support of the government of Finland for China's UN membership. The solid reputation earned in the 1950s had to carry Finland all the way through to the 1980s. For the two decades in between, during the passive policy period of the 1960s and 1970s, relations between Finland and the Soviet Union also determined the state of foreign relations with China. Interestingly, however, it appeared that President Urho Kekkonen was encouraged by Ambassador Joel Toivola to envisage a more proactive policy towards China, but the Cultural Revolution cut short any such plan for nearly twenty years. Because of the Soviet Union, Finland held on to her passive China policy, even though no such message was ever received from the Soviet Union. In fact, closer relationships between Finland and China were encouraged through diplomatic channels. It was not until the presidency of Mauno Koivisto that the first high-level ministerial visit was made to China when, in 1984, Foreign Minister Paavo Väyrynen visited the People s Republic. Finnish-Chinese relations were lifted to a new level. Foreign Minister Väyrynen, however, was forced to remove the prejudices of the Chinese. In 1985, when the Speaker of the Finnish Parliament, Erkki Pystynen visited China he also discovered that Finland s passive China policy had caused misunderstandings amongst the Chinese politicians. The number of exchanges escalated in the wake of the ground-breaking visit by Foreign Minister Väyrynen: Prime Minister Kalevi Sorsa visited China in 1986 and President Koivisto did so in 1988. President Koivisto stuck to practical, China-friendly policies: his correspondence with Li Peng, the attitude taken by the Finnish government after the Tiananmen Square events and the subsequent choices made by his administration all pointed to a new era in relations with China.