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Xi, Macron have friendly phone call

By ZHANG YUNBI | China Daily | Updated: 2017-05-10 03:48

President encourages strong ties with newly elected French leader

In their first telephone talk, President Xi Jinping and French president-elect Emmanuel Macron agreed on Tuesday to maintain contact and meet each other at an early date.

The phone conversation, reaffirming a shared commitment to tackle a range of global issues, came a day after Xi sent a congratulatory message on Monday to Macron on his victory the day before.

Macron scored a landslide victory in Sunday's runoff vote of the presidential election.

In the phone call, Xi congratulated Macron and said China "has always viewed France as a cooperative partner of great significance and priority".

Macron appreciated Xi's call and said he attaches great importance to ties with China, according to an official release from the Foreign Ministry.

The new French government will continue friendly relations with China and uphold the one-China policy, Macron said.

Xi said that by raising the relationship between China and France to the next level, as Macron takes office, both peoples and the international community will be served.

Xi said he hopes the two countries will support each other on major issues and deepen cooperation in various fields.

China welcomes France's participation in building the Belt and Road Initiative, Xi said, referring to the ongoing development of building the Silk Road Economic Belt and 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, which has won support from more than 100 countries and organizations.

Macron echoed Xi's point, saying the new administration will deepen cooperation with China regarding diplomacy; the economy, trade and industries; and collaboration within the framework of building the Belt and Road.

Cui Hongjian, director of the department for European Studies at the China Institute of International Studies, said the brief interval between Xi's message and the phone conversation "mirrors the strong readiness shared by both sides to establish a good working relationship between the two leaders quickly" and to manage a smooth transition of the ties.

"As the two countries share a great common ground on many issues, continuity (of policies) should be ensured to promote bilateral cooperation," Cui said.

He said it is possible the two sides may arrange a first meeting between Xi and Macron on the sidelines of a multilateral international meeting, such as the G20 Leaders Summit.

On regional and global topics, Xi said Beijing "will continue supporting the integration process of Europe".

Both Xi and Macron highlighted further communication and coordination between the two countries over regional and global issues, including the cooperation within the framework of the G20.

Xi said the two countries should further promote the reform of global governance and champion the fruits of global governance, such as the agreement reached at the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris in 2015.

Both Xi and Macron agreed to exchange their views on the development of ties between their two nations develops and issues of common concerns are raised from both sides.

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