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China and France plan to advance cooperation

By MO JINGXI | China Daily | Updated: 2022-05-11 07:15
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President Xi Jinping and French President Emmanuel Macron agreed in a phone conversation on Tuesday to push for more progress in developing China-France relations in the coming five years and stabilizing relations between China and the European Union.

Faced with changes unseen in a century, Xi said that China and France, both independent major countries, should uphold their original aspiration when establishing diplomatic ties, stay firm on their comprehensive strategic partnership and respect each other's core interests and major concerns.

Xi said it is important that the two sides effectively plan their cooperation priorities for the coming five years through bilateral dialogue mechanisms.

While cooperation in traditional areas such as civilian nuclear energy and aerospace should continue, efforts should also be made to bolster cooperation in emerging fields including artificial intelligence and clean energy, he said.

China is willing to expand its imports of quality products from France and welcomes French investment and French high-tech enterprises to carry out cooperation in China, Xi said.

China hopes that France will provide a fair, just and nondiscriminatory business environment for Chinese companies investing there, he added.

He added that China and France must uphold true multilateralism, expand third-party cooperation in Africa and other areas, and discuss cooperation on the Global Development Initiative and the Global Security Initiative.

Stable and sound China-EU relations benefit the peoples of both sides as well as those in other countries, Xi said, adding that China appreciates France's commitment to strategic autonomy.

He said China hopes that France will encourage the EU to maintain the right perception of China, work with China in the same direction by managing differences properly and build on converging interests for closer cooperation in the economy and trade, green and digital development, and people-to-people exchanges.

China hopes that France, which holds the EU's rotating presidency, will play a positive role in promoting the sound development of China-EU relations, Xi said.

This was the first phone call between Xi and Macron since the French president was reelected last month.

The two leaders also exchanged views on the Ukraine issue and agreed that all related parties should support the restoration of peace between Russia and Ukraine through negotiations.

China supports European countries taking European security into their own hands, Xi said. He said it is particularly necessary to be alert to the development of bloc confrontation, which will pose a greater and more lasting threat to global security and stability.

Macron said France has a lot of consensus with China on the Ukraine issue. France and the EU will firmly uphold strategic autonomy and are neither in favor of, nor will they participate in, bloc confrontation, he said.

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