China, France to consolidate relationship

PARIS, May 9, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — A news report from chinadaily.com.cn:

As French President Emmanuel Macron rolled out the red carpet for President Xi Jinping’s state visit, which concluded on Tuesday, China and France, with ample outcomes from the visit, have sent the message that they will consolidate the strategic stability of bilateral ties and jointly contribute to global security and prosperity.

President Xi Jinping and his wife, Peng Liyuan, pose for a photo on Tuesday with French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife, Brigitte Macron, as well as local residents, after a welcoming performance at Col du Tourmalet in southwestern France. China Daily
President Xi Jinping and his wife, Peng Liyuan, pose for a photo on Tuesday with French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife, Brigitte Macron, as well as local residents, after a welcoming performance at Col du Tourmalet in southwestern France. China Daily

The two countries signed 18 bilateral cooperation documents in areas such as green development, aviation, agrifood, commerce and people-to-people exchanges after the two presidents’ official talks at the Elysee Palace in Paris on Monday.

They also issued four joint statements on the situation in the Middle East, artificial intelligence and global governance, partnership in the fields of biodiversity and oceans, and agricultural exchanges and cooperation.

This year marks the 60th anniversary of diplomatic ties between China and France, with the latter being the first major Western country to establish diplomatic relations at the ambassadorial level with China.

Observers said that in an era in which mistrust often defines interactions between the West and China, the vibrant comprehensive strategic partnership between China and France stands as a beacon of hope, demonstrating that trust and collaboration are not only possible but essential for progress and prosperity.

A successful sojourn:

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During their talks, the two presidents highlighted the countries’ friendly relationship as well as the potential and prospects of cooperation. They pledged to step up the countries’ cooperation in traditional areas such as aerospace, aviation and nuclear energy, expand collaboration in emerging areas such as green energy, smart manufacturing, biomedicine and AI, and jointly uphold multilateralism, the United Nations Charter and international law.

Xi said that China is ready to maintain strategic communication with France, respect each other’s core interests, unleash the great potential of mutually beneficial cooperation, and facilitate growth and balance in bilateral trade.

Expanding opening-up

Xi's Moments
Xi’s Moments

 

Xi's Moments
Xi’s Moments

He reaffirmed the nation’s commitment to expanding opening-up, saying that China has fully opened up its manufacturing sector and will move faster to expand market access in the service sector, such as in telecommunications and medical services.

While saying that China welcomes investment by more French companies, Xi expressed the hope that the French side will provide a good business environment and stable development expectations for investment and cooperation by Chinese companies in France.

China welcomes visits by more people from France, and will extend the short-stay visa-exemption policy for citizens from 12 countries, including France, to the end of 2025, bring the total number of French students in China to more than 10,000, and double the number of young Europeans on exchange programs to China in the next three years, Xi said.

He also pledged to increase dialogue and communication with France in areas including AI governance and reform of the international financial system.

Macron said that as the world faces many pressing challenges, the profound and rich FranceChina relationship is at a critical juncture of building on the past and looking to the future.

Xi's Moments
Xi’s Moments

The two sides, through mutual respect, a long-term perspective and strengthened cooperation, will play an important and positive role in addressing global challenges and opposing any logic of bloc confrontation, he said.

Macron assured Xi that France will continue to open its market to China and will not adopt discriminatory policies against Chinese companies.

David Gosset, founder of the China-Europe-America Global Initiative, said that as France and China translate their affinities into concerted action, they forge pathways for enhanced synergies between the European Union and the world’s second-largest economy.

As the world continues to evolve and confront new challenges, Gosset said that the partnership between France and China will remain essential in shaping a more peaceful, prosperous and sustainable future for all.

During their talks, Xi and Macron also exchanged views on international and regional issues of mutual interest, including the Ukraine crisis and the Palestine-Israel conflict.

While meeting the media with Macron following their talks, Xi called on all parties to resume engagement and dialogue to build mutual trust in order to address the Ukraine crisis. China opposes attempts to use the Ukraine crisis to scapegoat or smear a third country or to stoke a new Cold War, he said.

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On the Palestine-Israel conflict, Xi urged the international community to work together for an immediate, comprehensive and sustainable cease-fire in Gaza. “We support Palestine’s full membership in the UN, and support restoring to Palestine its legitimate national rights and restarting the two-state solution, so as to achieve lasting peace in the Middle East.”

Xi and Macron also met on Tuesday at Col du Tourmalet in southwestern France, before Xi left for a state visit to Serbia.

https://www.chinadaily.com.cn/a/202405/08/WS663ab1cea31082fc043c5c59.html

 

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