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France and China must combine resources for Belt and Road projects, French ambassador says

By WANG QINGYUN | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2018-02-08 18:09

France and China need to combine their resources to promote projects under the Belt and Road Initiative, the French Ambassador to China Jean-Maurice Ripert said.

Similar to the initiative promoted by China, the European Union is also working to promote interconnectivity among its members and also between the EU and other countries, Ripert said in a news briefing in Beijing on Thursday.

France hopes to cooperate with China in specific projects, which can be in the EU, China or a third country, Ripert told reporters.

The French government has delegated Jean-Pierre Raffarin, a former French prime minister, "an important task" to discuss and seek cooperation projects between Chinese and French companies in a third country, the ambassador said.

Raffarin led a delegation to the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in May last year on behalf of French President Emmanuel Macron.

Thursday's interview came a month after Macron paid a state visit to China and said his country would actively take part in the Belt and Road Initiative.

Ripert, who took office as French ambassador in July, also said he hoped young people from both countries, such as tourists, students, researchers and entrepreneurs would enhance exchanges.

Many young French entrepreneurs are developing businesses in Shenzhen, in South China's Guangdong province, Ripert said, expressing his hope that more young Chinese entrepreneurs would start businesses in Paris.

France and China have been cooperating closely in areas such as nuclear energy and aerospace. According to the ambassador, France also wants to strengthen cooperation to develop artificial intelligence and e-commerce, where China has an advantage, and is ready to share technologies in areas such as clean and renewable energy and medicine.

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