Xi Jinping urges cooperation with France, Germany to jointly cope with challenges
Chinese President Xi Jinping on Monday called on China and European countries to expand consensus and cooperation to jointly cope with global challenges.
Speaking with French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel via video link, Xi said the world needs mutual respect and sincere cooperation, instead of suspicion and zero-sum games, as the global COVID-19 pandemic situation is still grave and the outlook of the global economic recovery remains uncertain.
Xi called on China and European countries to adhere to mutual respect, seek common ground while reserving differences, and properly handle differences to ensure China-Europe ties move forward steadily.
Speaking of win-win cooperation, Xi said China hopes to hold the 23rd China-EU Summit as soon as possible and enhance dialogue in economy and trade, cultural exchanges, digital and climate change.
Xi said China's determination to expand opening-up is unwavering and he hopes European countries can offer Chinese enterprises a fair, transparent and non-discriminatory business environment.
He also called for the safeguarding of genuine multilateralism and the international system with the United Nations (UN) at its core and the upholding of the basic norms governing international relations based on the UN Charter.
International affairs should be addressed through consultation, Xi stressed.
China is willing to work with European countries to ensure positive outcomes from the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP15), which will be held in China's Kunming, and the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26), Xi said.
He also called on European countries to jointly guide the reform of the World Trade Organization in the right direction and mutually support the hosting of the Beijing Winter Olympics and the Paris Summer Olympics.
The Chinese president called on the countries to build generally stable and balanced major power relations.
"What China wants most is to develop itself well, not to replace others," Xi stressed, adding that the Belt and Road Initiative put forward by China aims to create more opportunities for development.
China is willing to strengthen dialogue and cooperation with European countries, while resolutely defending its own sovereignty, security and development interests, he added.
"We hope that the European side will play a more active role in international affairs, truly reflect strategic autonomy and work together to maintain world peace and stability, development and prosperity," Xi said.
The three leaders also exchanged views on issues related to Africa. Noting Africa is the continent with the largest number of developing countries but also with the greatest development potential, Xi pointed out the region faces the most difficult task to fight against COVID-19 and achieve economic recovery.
According to Xi, China has provided or is providing vaccines to more than 40 African countries and the African Union Commission, and actively supports Africa to enhance vaccine localized production capacity.
China has signed debt relief agreements or reached debt relief consensus with 19 African countries, the Chinese president said.
Macron said Chinese enterprises are welcome to invest in France, and added that he is willing to enhance cooperation with China in dealing with climate change and protecting biodiversity.
He said France appreciates the role China has played in the fair distribution of COVID-19 vaccines to developing countries and is willing to strengthen cooperation with China in this regard.
Merkel said Germany is willing to deepen coordination and cooperation with China in promoting the fair production and distribution of vaccines, as well as the recovery of people and trade exchanges.
She said the relationship between China and European countries is very important and there are many cooperative areas. The two sides should enhance mutual respect, strengthen dialogue and reduce differences, she added.