China pledges to deepen cooperation, tackle global challenges with France at business meeting
Updated 09:39, 07-Apr-2023

Chinese President Xi Jinping declared that China will continue to deepen cooperative ties and jointly tackle global challenges with France at the closing ceremony of the fifth meeting of the China-France Business Council on Thursday.

French President Emmanuel Macron also attended the meeting.

Xi said that the world is undergoing remarkable and complex changes. China and France have supported multilateralism, free trade and economic globalization, which in turn have bolstered the strength and dynamism of bilateral economic and trade cooperation. Presently, bilateral trade and direct investment have witnessed consistent growth, important projects are making further progress, and collaboration in green consumption, green energy, and scientific and technological innovation has been extended.

"China-France economic and trade cooperation has not only boosted the economic growth of the two countries and improved people's well-being, but also boosted confidence and stabilized expectations for world economic recovery," Xi said.

To further strengthen bilateral cooperation between the two countries, Xi stated that China will continue to promote high-quality opening up and expand its institutional openness in terms of rules, regulations, management and standards. He encouraged French companies to use China's major platforms, such as the China International Import Expo, China International Fair for Trade in Services and China International Consumer Goods Expo, to gain success in the Chinese market and deepen cooperation in the green, digital and innovation fields.

Xi also stressed the importance of strategic independence and highlighted that decoupling and zero-sum games will not impede China's development. He expressed his opposition to the politicization and weaponization of exchanges between the two countries in the fields of trade, science and technology. He further proposed to enhance macro policy coordination with the EU, safeguard the stability of industrial and supply chains, and create a favorable atmosphere for China-EU cooperation.

Mankind is facing unprecedented challenges and strengthening solidarity and coordination is the only way out, Xi said. He has put forward the concept of "building a community with a shared future for mankind" and proposed the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), the Global Development Initiative, the Global Security Initiative and the Global Civilization Initiative, which are all intended to build an open, inclusive and beautiful world that enjoys lasting peace, universal security and common prosperity.

Xi added that China will host the third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation. It looks forward to working with France and other parties to deepen cooperation within the framework of the BRI and promote global common development by upholding the principle of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits.

Macron said that the two sides have just signed a series of important agreements, which demonstrated their shared ambition to deepen mutually beneficial cooperation and their shared responsibility to tackle global challenges. France opposes decoupling and hopes to build a more robust and open global supply chain. 

France respects China and is willing to conduct sincere dialogue with China, tolerate differences between the two sides and encourage openness and innovation, Macron said, adding France is ready to deepen the comprehensive strategic partnership and push for important progress in bilateral cooperation in various fields.

(Cover: Chinese President Xi Jinping delivers a speech while he and French President Emmanuel Macron attend the closing ceremony of a meeting between Chinese and French entrepreneurs in Beijing, China, April 6, 2023. /Xinhua)

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