|Zhang Dejiang (R), chairman of the National People's Congress (NPC) Standing Committee, gives a picture album as gift to Claude Bartolone (L), president of the French National Assembly, at a reception celebrating the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and France, in Beijing, capital of China, Jan. 27, 2014. (Xinhua/Liu Weibing)
BEIJING, Jan. 27 (Xinhua) -- China's top legislator Zhang Dejiang and French counterpart Claude Bartolone on Monday pledged to elevate bilateral ties, during celebrations of 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations.
Zhang and Bartolone made the remarks at a Beijing reception to celebrate the anniversary, attended by some 200 people from both sides.
In his speech, Zhang described the establishment of diplomatic relations with France 50 years ago as a "historic event".
The diplomatic ties set a new model for peaceful coexistence between countries with different political systems and had an immense and profound impact on the international situation, said Zhang, chairman of the Standing Committee of the Chinese National People's Congress.
On Jan. 27, 1964, the two announced ambassadorial diplomatic ties, which made France the first major western power to set up official diplomatic relations with the People's Republic of China.
Recalling the evolution of the bilateral ties since then, Zhang said the China-France relationship has been in the vanguard of the relationship between China and the West, which has proved the strategic and global significance of the ties between the two countries.