Minister Encourages China To Improve Democracy

During a five-day visit to China Sweden's deputy Prime Minister and leader of the Center party, Maud Olofsson, repeatedly talked about the importance of democracy, transparency, human rights and free enterprise.

The visit, which was planned to celebrate the 60 year anniversary for the establishment of diplomatic ties between the two countries, was also meant to give Swedish industries and business a boost on the world's fastest growing market. But Olofsson told Swedish news agency TT that export to and import from China could not be at the expense of democracy or transparency.

"I believe China appreciates that we were the first western country to establish diplomatic ties. This also means that the Chinese are more sensitive to what we say about their system. They respect our opinions," Olofsson told TT.

The Swedish delegation, which also included King Carl XVI Gustaf and representatives from Sweden's largest businesses, finished their visit on Monday.