China, France agree to step up partnership
                 English.news.cn | 2013-04-25 15:58:56 | Editor: Chen Zhi

CHINA-FRANCE-BEIJING-XI JINPING-HOLLANDE-MEETING (CN)

Chinese President Xi Jinping (3rd L) meets with French President Francois Hollande (5th R) in Beijing, capital of China, April 25, 2013. (Xinhua/Wang Ye)

BEIJING, April 25 (Xinhua) -- China and France agreed to step up their partnership to a higher level with a series of cooperation agreements being signed on Thursday in Beijing.

The agreements were reached when Chinese President Xi Jinping held talks with his visiting French counterpart Francois Hollande at the Great Hall of the People. The two leaders decided to push forward the China-France comprehensive and strategic partnership based on mutual respect and mutually-beneficial cooperation.

Hollande, on behalf of both the French government and people, expressed sympathy for those who died or suffered from the 7.0-magnitude earthquake that hit Lushan County, Sichuan Province on Saturday.

Xi said that China and France, big nations with a strong spirit of independence, are both committed to their national development, their peoples' well-being, as well as multilateralism and multipolarity in the world.

China and France should continue to prioritize their strategic partnership, support each other and expand bilateral cooperation in an aim to forge win-win cooperation between countries with different political systems, cultures and traditions, Xi noted.

The two sides should also work together to improve the democratization of the international relations, help establish a fair, just international order, promote collective decision-making process with equal consultation on international rules, and push for dialogue and peaceful settlement of international disputes so as to safeguard world peace and stability and boost common prosperity, Xi added.

The Chinese president also stressed that the two nations should strengthen communication and exchange to increase and expand mutual respect, attend each other's core interests and key concerns and support their respective development path both countries have chosen independently.

He called on the two sides to expand their trade cooperation, cement cultural and humanitarian exchange to foster friendship between the two peoples and jointly protect cultural diversity in the world.

"The two sides should also strengthen coordination when dealing with world affairs and we are looking forward to seeing the development of a new type of China-France comprehensive and strategic partnership in the future," Xi added.

Hailing a long history of the friendship between the two nations, Hollande said the diplomatic aspiration shared by France and China for independence, mutual respect and a balanced world has formed a solid foundation for the two nations to develop ties.

Hollande noted that France and China, both as responsible big nations, should work closer and step up dialogue, coordination and cooperation to address the worldwide challenges and improve global economic governance.

France is committed to boosting its comprehensive and strategic partnership with China, respect its sovereignty and territorial integrity and support China's development, Hollande said.

To promote the partnership to a higher level, the two leaders decided: to maintain annual meeting between heads of the state, enhance strategic dialogue, and establish high-level economic and financial dialogue mechanism;

To improve bilateral cooperation in fields such as nuclear energy and aviation, and forge new areas of cooperation in urbanization, modern agriculture and farm produce processing, food processing, industrial energy saving, new energy, as well as health care and digitalisation;

To expand mutual investment and balanced growth of two-way trade.

China will increase importation from France and France will provide favorable conditions for Chinese companies to invest and establish business in the European nation .

The two leaders agreed to boost cooperation in cultural heritage protection, cracking down on cultural relics smuggling, popularization of their language in the other country, and strengthen cooperation on tourism. The two sides decided to launch a series of events to mark the 50th anniversary of the establishment of China-France diplomatic relationship next year.

They also agreed to improve China-France coordination on issues concerning the G20, climate change, food and energy safety. China will continue its support for Europe on its efforts to tackle its sovereign debt crisis and France will continue its significant role inside the European Union (EU) to help promote China-EU relations.

The two leaders also exchanged their views on current regional issues of common concern.

After the talks, Xi and Hollande also witnessed the signing of a dozen and more agreement documents ranging from technological innovation, environmental protection, urban sustainable development, culture, tourism, nuclear power, electricity, aviation, finance and insurance, to food safety.

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BEIJING, April 25 (Xinhua) -- China and France pledged Thursday to establish a sustainable partnership as French President Francois Hollande paid his first state visit to the Asian country.

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Commentary: Hollande's China visit highlights significance of ties

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Hollande is the first leader of a major Western power to visit Beijing since China's new leadership took office. The bilateral affinity results from almost 50 years of friendly exchanges, despite occasional twists and turns. Full story

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