Premier Wen says China cherishes French ties

Updated: 2008-04-24 21:12

BEIJING - Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao met here on Thursday with ex-French Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin, and urged the French government to work with China to put bilateral relations on a healthy and stable track.

Wen said France was the first Western power to forge diplomatic relations with China, and also the first European Union (EU) member state to set up a comprehensive strategic partnership with China.

China valued its friendship with France, which was fostered by leaders of several generations from both nations and by the two peoples, Wen said. He hoped France would work with China to push forward the healthy and stable growth of bilateral ties in line with the principles of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefits.

He clarified the truth behind violent crimes in Lhasa and other places, and stated China's stance on this issue.

Wen applauded Raffarin's positive efforts to promote the understanding and cooperation between the two nations and the two peoples.

Raffarin said France attaches importance to the comprehensive strategic partnership with China, and that France has always adhered to the one-China policy since the two nations forged diplomatic relations.

To safeguard China's reunification and stability accords with the interests of all countries, Raffarin said, noting the European and French people should increase their knowledge about Tibet's real situation.

The Olympics is a grand event for all the world, and the international society has the responsibility to make a positive contribution to the Beijing Games, Raffarin said.

He expressed sorrow for the incidents of the Beijing Olympics torch relay in Paris, and said he wishes a success for the August Games.

Raffarin said France would continue making positive efforts to advance the EU-China relations and France-China relations.

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