China, France to resume all-around dialogue and cooperation
China and France have agreed to resume bilateral exchanges, dialogue and cooperation in all areas, Chinese President Xi Jinping announced during a press meeting with his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron after their talks in Beijing on Thursday.
This year marks the 20th anniversary of the China-EU comprehensive strategic partnership. Xi said that China always views Europe as an independent pole in a multi-polar world. It supports Europe in achieving strategic autonomy and upholds that the China-Europe relationship is not targeted at, subjugated to, or controlled by any third party. China believes that Europe will take an independent approach to developing its relations with China, Xi added.
He noted that for a stable and mutually beneficial bilateral relationship and to make new contributions to tackling global challenges, the presidents agreed to work together to advance cooperation in the following areas:
First, keeping bilateral relations stable. The two sides will maintain close communication at the head-of-state level, hold a new round of meetings under the three high-level mechanisms on strategic, economic and financial, and people-to-people dialogues within this year, and resume offline exchanges between legislatures and militaries as soon as possible. The two sides reiterated mutual respect for each other's sovereignty, territorial integrity and core interests.
Second, pursuing mutual benefit and common development. The two presidents jointly witnessed the signing of a series of important cooperation agreements. The two sides will deepen cooperation in traditional areas such as aviation, aerospace and civilian nuclear energy, and cultivate new growth drivers in cooperation such as green development and scientific and technological innovation, including building a China-France carbon neutrality center and strengthening joint training of talents.
Xi also conveyed to Macron China's readiness to advance high-standard opening up and share new opportunities in China's new development with countries around the world, and to work with France to build a "French farm to Chinese dining table" whole-chain rapid coordination mechanism. At China's invitation, France will be a guest of honor country at the 2024 China International Fair for Trade in Services (CIFTIS) and the seventh China International Import Expo (CIIE). The two countries are committed to providing a fair, just and non-discriminatory business environment for each other's companies.
Third, resuming people-to-people and cultural exchanges across the board. Next year will be the 60th anniversary of China-France diplomatic relations and the China-France Year of Culture and Tourism. The two sides will leverage the full reopening of people-to-people exchanges to promote exchanges in culture, education, language, publishing, film and television and tourism as well as among localities and the youth, and deepen sports cooperation through the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.
Fourth, supporting each other and promoting the improvement of global governance. China and France will continue to support a multi-polar world and greater democracy in international relations, oppose Cold War mentality and bloc confrontation, and jointly tackle all types of global challenges. China supports France in hosting a successful UN Ocean Conference in 2025 and welcomes France's participation at the third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation.
Xi said that Macron is the first European head of state he has received after China's Two Sessions. They had an in-depth exchange of views on China-EU relations and would later be joined by President Ursula von der Leyen of the European Commission for a trilateral meeting.
The two presidents agreed that China and France, as permanent members of the UN Security Council and major countries with a tradition of independence, should keep to the overall direction of a comprehensive strategic partnership that is stable, mutually beneficial, enterprising and dynamic and inject new vitality into China-Europe relations.
(Cover: Chinese President Xi Jinping and French President Emmanuel Macron jointly meet the Chinese and foreign press at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, April 6, 2023. /Xinhua)