PARIS, March 26 (Xinhua) -- Visiting Chinese President Xi Jinping paid tribute to General Charles de Gaulle Wednesday at the late French leader's namesake foundation, where he also met a group of French friends.
Accompanied by French Foreign and Education Ministers Laurent Fabius and Vincent Peillon, Xi visited the former office of Charles de Gaulle and laid a wreath at the general's bronze statue.
Addressing the French friends there, Xi said that it was the decision made by Chairman Mao Zedong and General Charles de Gaulle 50 years ago that brought China and France together, ushering in a new era in China-France ties.
As the two nations are celebrating five decades of their diplomatic ties this year, it is time to further appreciate the far-sightedness, wisdom and courage of the two late leaders, he said.
Xi said like the late general, the offspring of Charles de Gaulle and the foundation are dedicated to the advancement of China-France friendship.
He said that after 50 years, both sides have a clear vision of the future direction of their relationship. He urged the French friends to continue to promote China-France ties, bring more people to their course and carry on China-France friendship to future generations.
On the same day, Xi's wife Peng Liyuan, the World Health Organization (WHO)'s goodwill ambassador for tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS, visited the Necker Hospital, the world's first children's hospital in Paris. She was accompanied by WHO Director-General Margaret Chan and French Health Minister Marisol Touraine.
France is the second leg of Xi's ongoing Europe trip, which will also take him to Germany and Belgium. Before France, Xi visited the Netherlands and attended the third Nuclear Security Summit in The Hague.