China, France ink joint statement, agreements

Updated: 2006-10-26 21:37

China and France on Thursday signed a joint statement and 14 cooperation agreements ranging from aviation and nuclear power utilization to the prevention of infectious diseases.

Chinese President Hu Jintao and visiting French President Jacques Chirac both agreed that the Sino-French relations have become "an example" for friendly cooperation among countries with different historical backgrounds, cultural traditions and development stages.

Chirac, who arrived here on Wednesday afternoon on a four-day state visit, talked with Hu for two hours in the Great Hall of the People before witnessing the signing of a series of agreements, including an overarching document entitled the Sino-French Joint Statement.

The 14 agreements include a framework agreement and a letter of intent for 150 Airbus A320 aircraft and a contract worth 1.2 billion euros (1.5 billion U.S. dollars) for the delivery of 500 freight locomotives from Alstom SA of France to China.

The multi-billion-dollar arrangement represents the largest deal in the history of Chinese aviation.