China, France to push bilateral comprehensive strategic partnership to a higher level
Updated 08:31, 08-Apr-2023

After two days' deep and friendly exchanges, Chinese President Xi Jinping and visiting French President Emmanuel Macron on Friday vowed to maintain close strategic communication and to promote China-France comprehensive strategic partnership to a higher level.

Following their meeting in Beijing on Thursday, the two leaders on Friday strolled through the Pine Garden in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou and held an informal meeting.

Xi told Macron that Guangzhou was the birthplace of China's democratic revolution and the spearhead of China's reform and opening-up.

Now Guangzhou is actively promoting the construction of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, and continues to play a leading and locomotive role in high-quality development, Xi added.

Chinese modernization

Xi introduced to Macron the essential features and core essence of Chinese modernization, stressing that China is advancing Chinese modernization on all fronts.

Chinese modernization is gradually formed through China's reform and opening-up and innovative development, which is in line with the universal pattern of modernization and is also characterized by features that are unique to the theory and practice of socialism with Chinese characteristics, Xi stressed.

The Chinese president voiced full confidence in China's development prospects, saying China welcomes the French side to continue to actively participate in the Canton Fair, the China International Import Expo and the China International Fair for Trade in Services to further expand the Chinese market.

True friendship is mutual understanding and mutual respect, Macron said, adding the French side appreciates that China has always supported France and Europe to uphold their core interests, such as sovereignty and territorial integrity.

He urged efforts to strengthen technical-industrial cooperation, further open markets to each other and enhance science and technology cooperation, including in artificial intelligence, to help each other achieve development and revitalization.

Political settlement only way out of Ukraine crisis

The two leaders also exchanged views on the crisis in Ukraine and other issues of common concern.

Noting the causes of the crisis in Ukraine are complex, Xi pointed out that the ongoing conflict is in no one's interest.

Ceasing hostilities is in the interests of all parties concerned as well as the whole world, Xi stressed. Seeking a political settlement is the only correct way out, he added.

On the Ukraine issue, China will never deal with it from personal interests, but always stand for fairness and impartiality, the Chinese president noted.

Xi called on all parties concerned to assume their responsibilities, meet each other halfway and create conditions for a political solution.

The French side is welcome to put forward concrete proposals for a political solution to the crisis, Xi said, adding China is ready to support and is willing to play a constructive role.

Macron said France shares the view that a political solution to the Ukraine crisis needs to take into account the legitimate concerns of all parties.

France attaches great importance to China's international influence and is willing to communicate and cooperate closely with China to make joint efforts to promote a political solution to the crisis as soon as possible, he added.

Fruitful visit

Before saying goodbye, Xi told Macron that in the past two days, they enhanced understanding and mutual trust and clarified the direction for future cooperation between China and France at bilateral and international levels.

"I am glad that we share many common or similar views on Sino-French and Sino-European relations as well as many international and regional issues, reflecting the high level and strategic nature of Sino-French relations," Xi stressed.

Macron expressed his gratitude to President Xi for making warm and elaborate arrangements for his visit.

This visit is very successful and fruitful, and will certainly give a strong impetus to the further development of bilateral relations, Macron said, adding he looks forward to Xi visiting France again next year.

The two sides also issued a joint statement on Friday, agreeing to strengthen political dialogue, promote mutual political trust, jointly promote world security and stability, and respond to global challenges together. It also said the two countries would boost economic exchanges and restart people and cultural exchanges.

(Cover: Chinese President Xi Jinping and French President Emmanuel Macron have tea at the Pine Garden in Guangzhou, south China's Guangdong Province, April 7, 2023. /Xinhua)

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