PARIS: Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi said Thursday that he saw major development opportunity for China-France relations in the year 2010.
Yang said that in a keynote speech on China's relations with France and the European Union (EU) at the French Institute for International Relations in Paris.
China-France relations have enjoyed steady growth since the two nations forged diplomatic ties 46 years ago, he said.
The strategic significance of the relationship goes far beyond the bilateral scope, producing important influence globally, Yang said.
China is willing to work with France to strengthen political trust, promote reciprocal cooperation and enhance people-to-people and cultural exchanges on the basis of equality, mutual respect and mutual benefit, he said.
China is ready to push bilateral relations to a new height, Yang added.
On China-EU relations, Yang said the two sides have been engaged in wide-ranging multi-dimensional and multi-level cooperation, and forged a comprehensive strategic partnership.
The EU has become China's biggest trading partner, and China the second biggest trading partner of the EU, Yang said.
The two sides have launched their annual summit mechanism and set up 17 political consultation mechanisms, he noted.
Yang said the comprehensive development of China-EU relations has fully demonstrated that the two sides have broad common interests.
Seizing opportunities in new circumstances, the two sides should avoid setbacks, promote practical cooperation and enhance communication and coordination so as to further invigorate China-EU relations.
They should also jointly oppose trade protectionism and make concerted efforts in tackling global challenges, he said.
The minister stressed that China's growth correlated closely with the world's development.
As a responsible big nation, China has always been a staunch force in safeguarding world peace and promoting common development, he said.
China would continue to adhere to the path of peaceful development and its opening-up strategy to help build a harmonious world with sustained peace and common prosperity.
Yang has met President Nicolas Sarkozy and Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner.
The Chinese foreign minister is on a five-nation tour, which has already taken him to Britain, Cyprus and Turkey. The last leg of his trip is Germany.