Chinese, French FMs hold talks on closer ties


BEIJING, April 1 (Xinhua) — Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi held talks with Stephane Sejourne, French minister for Europe and foreign affairs, in Beijing on Monday to discuss closer bilateral ties.

Wang, also a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, said that China and France are both permanent members of the UN Security Council and major independent countries, and that they share an extraordinary history of exchange and shoulder the important missions of the times.

Noting that this year marks the 60th anniversary of the establishment of bilateral ties between China and France, Wang said China is willing to work with France to solidify and add dynamism to the China-France comprehensive strategic partnership, guided by the strategic consensus reached by the two heads of state. He said China is ready to lead the sound, steady development of China-EU relations and inject more stability into a world beset by frequent upheaval.

He said China is actively cultivating new quality productive forces and continuously promoting high-quality development and high-level opening-up. These actions will bring more opportunities to France and the rest of the world, and inject new vitality into China-France relations.

It is hoped that the French side will attach importance to addressing China’s legitimate and reasonable concerns, and provide a fair, non-discriminatory business environment for Chinese companies, he added.

Activities related to the China-France Year of Culture and Tourism are running smoothly, Wang said. China hopes the French side will provide more convenience for Chinese citizens looking to visit France, and competent authorities on both sides should step up their coordination to increase numbers of direct flights, he added.

“Strategic communication and multilateral coordination are highlights of China-France cooperation,” Wang said, and the two sides should work together to speak out on issues concerning world peace and stability, and on issues related to the future of humanity. They should also support each other’s multilateral initiatives.

Sejourne said that France attaches great importance to its relations with China and upholds the one-China policy firmly. The French side looks forward to working with China to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties, strengthen people-to-people exchanges, push for the greater development of bilateral relations, and enhance cooperation in fields such as the economy, trade, agriculture, green development and artificial intelligence.

France stands for openness and cooperation, opposes a decoupling, and is committed to handling differences properly through consultation, Sejourne added.

The two sides also exchanged in-depth views on international and regional issues of common concern, including the Ukraine crisis and the Palestine-Israel conflict.  ■

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