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Chirac's tour of China magnifies partnership
By Hu Xuan (China Daily)
Updated: 2004-10-09 10:52

Dialogue between China and France, two countries which highly value cultural diversity and pluralism in international politics, is no doubt conducive to world peace.

French President Jacques Chirac arrived in China yesterday for a significant four-day visit.

Some 50 French business leaders, including those from 17 small and medium-sized companies, accompany Chirac on his visit.

Under the ever-changing international situation, Chirac's visit to China will further boost the development of an all-round partnership between the two nations.

Chirac's visit coincided with the inception of the Year of France in China, during which more than 200 activities will be held to present the essence of French culture to the Chinese.

Thanks to mutual trust and common efforts, the Year of China in France in 2003 was a great success.

On the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the establishment of Sino-Franco diplomatic ties, such full-blown cultural exchanges will certainly strengthen amicable relations between the two countries.

The great cultural event came amid the smooth growth of a healthy and multi-directional Sino-Franco partnership that has been steadily strengthening since the 1990s.

The all-around Sino-Franco strategic partnership was initiated by President Chirac and then President Jiang Zemin in 1997.

Over the past seven years, the two countries have built an exemplary strategic partnership and made steady progress on the path of mutual trust and respect.

During his successful visit to France last January, President Hu Jintao signed a joint declaration with President Chirac, which showed the shared will to reinforce political dialogue and build special ties in the fields of economy, industry and science and technology.

The positive development of Sino-Franco relations can largely be attributed to the convergence of strategic objectives and interests between the two nations.

As two influential countries in the world and permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, China and France share much in common, face the same challenges and shoulder major responsibilities in international affairs.

A sound, long-term and stable relationship between France and China serves the fundamental interests of the two peoples and is conducive to regional as well as world peace and stability.

France was the first Western power to forge diplomatic relations at the ambassadorial level with China.

There are no fundamental strategic disparities between the two nations. Economic interests have served as a catalyst for the growth of a comprehensive partnership between the two sides. The process of regional integration and globalization has also added multilateral dimensions to this rapport.

There is still room for more co-operation between the two sides in areas such as energy, aeronautics, finance, tourism, environment and rural development.

Undoubtedly, in a world of accelerated globalization, the strengthening of an all-round partnership between China and France promises prospects across the board.

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