Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (R) and French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault attend a press conference in Beijing, capital of China, Dec. 6, 2013. (Xinhua/Xie Huanchi)
BEIJING, Dec. 6 (Xinhua) -- China and France on Friday vowed to expand their three decades of nuclear energy cooperation to target markets in other countries.
"We agreed to jointly exploit third-party nuclear energy markets. China hopes the two countries can find broader space in the markets," said Chinese Premier Li Keqiang while meeting reporters after his hour-long talks with visiting French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault. Li described their discussion as "candid and friendly."
He called on the two countries to develop a more equal partnership in nuclear energy cooperation, and at the same time, to jointly research and develop new reactor types and strengthen the sharing of experience. He said he hoped France would transfer more technology to China.
Nuclear energy cooperation between China and France dates back to the establishment of the Daya Bay nuclear power plant in the early 1990s in south China's Guangdong Province. It has two 1,000 MW pressurized water reactors introduced from France.
Governements and businesses of the two countries also held a seminar to mark China-France nuclear energy cooperation on Friday.
In addition to nuclear energy, the two leaders told reporters that the two countries will further cooperate in areas including aviation, trade, investment, finance, food, agricultural products, health, automobile manufacturing and sustainable development.
Li called on the two countries to actively advance negotiations on a second phase project of an Airbus final assembly plant in Tianjin Municipality, strengthen joint research and production of large commercial planes and civil helicopters, and continue to push forward satellite cooperation projects.
Li said the two sides will co-pilot sustainable development schemes, and combine their respective advantages of capital, technology, markets and experience. An eco-friendly city program for sustainable development in Wuhan, capital of central China's Hubei Province, will serve as an example of this and receive corporate efforts from the two countries.
Ayrault echoed Li, saying France hopes the two countries can promote the program with concrete actions, and he will visit Wuhan and learn about this program during his China tour.
He added the two countries have scored substantive results in food and agricultural joint work.
"Chinese consumers will soon taste French pork and other products. I am also looking forward to seeing bilateral cooperation in health and pharmaceuticals," Ayrault said.
The leaders also reached a consensus on expanding bilateral cultural exchanges. The two countries will hold concerts, exhibitions and film festivals in 2014 to mark the 50th anniversary of bilateral ties.
"China and France are both important representatives of the diversity of civilization. These activities will help mutual understanding between the two peoples, and communication between the two civilizations," according to Li.
The Chinese premier also voiced appreciation for France's decision to shorten the visa processing time for Chinese citizens to two days, saying this will facilitate personnel engagement, tourism, trade and investment between the two countries.
He hoped France would make it easier for employees of Chinese companies to get work and residence permits. He also urged France to provide a safer and more convenient environment for Chinese tourists.
Ayrault welcomed more Chinese tourists to visit France, and promised to simplify the visa processing procedure.
After their talks, the two prime ministers jointly unveiled a logo for activities marking next year's 50th anniversary.
"France is one of the earliest Western countries to establish diplomatic relations with the People's Republic of China. China-France relations are strategic, epochal and global," Li said.
He noted the two countries should continue to respect each other, treat each other on an equal footing, seek common development, consolidate traditional friendship, expand cooperation and strengthen coordination in international and regional affairs.
"China will make joint efforts with France to promote multi-polarization and democratization of international relations, and safeguard the international order established after World War II and a hard-won peaceful situation," Li said.
Ayrault echoed Li, saying France will make closer high-level engagement with China, strengthen strategic communication, and coordinate closely on global and regional issues.
On China-Europe relations, Li said China attaches high importance to relations with Europe while France is a "core major country" in the European Union.
He called on France to actively promote the negotiation of a China-Europe investment agreement and to urge the EU to uphold free trade and be cautious in taking trade remedy measures, so as to play a positive role for the sound development of China-Europe relations.
"China hopes the EU will not start an investigation into China's wireless telecom products," Li noted.
Ayrault said France will join hands with China to oppose trade protectionism, and promote Europe-China cooperation.
Ayrault arrived in Beijing on Thursday morning, starting a five-day official visit to China at the invitation of Li.
This is Ayrault's first China visit, which he said is an important opportunity to get to know Chinese leaders and learn about China. After a stay in the capital, he will fly to Wuhan in Hubei and Taishan in south China's Guangdong Province, where another China-France nuclear power plant is under construction.
Chinese premier holds talks with French counterpart
BEIJING, Dec. 6 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Premier Li Keqiang held talks with his French counterpart Jean-Marc Ayrault here on Friday morning.
At the start of the talks, Li said Ayrault's visit, the French prime minister's first to China, is of special significance as it comes as the two countries are set to celebrate the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations next year. Full story
French PM arrives in Beijing for visit
BEIJING, Dec. 5 (Xinhua) -- French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault on Thursday arrived in Beijing for a five-day official visit to China.
Ayrault is invited by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang. Full Story
China, France vow new-type economic partnership
BEIJING, Nov. 26 (Xinhua) -- China and France on Tuesday pledged to develop a new type of comprehensive, mutually beneficial and sustainable economic and financial partnership.
The agreement came after the first China-France high-level economic and financial Dialogue, which was co-chaired by Chinese Vice Premier Ma Kai and French Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici in Beijing. Full story