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News Analysis: Hollande's visit to boost China-France ties

English.news.cn   2013-04-23 19:15:33            

BEIJING, April 23 (Xinhua) -- French President Francois Hollande will be the first leader of a Western power to visit Beijing after China's new leadership took office.

Hollande's appearance will surely boost mutual political trust, mutual benefit and win-win cooperation between China and France. It will also lift bilateral ties to a new level.


France was the first Western country that established diplomatic ties with the People's Republic of China (PRC) in 1964 and Paris has long placed relations with Beijing as a priority of its diplomatic policy.

The leaders of China and France have maintained friendly exchanges. The two peoples appeal to each other. They approach each other, carrying good feelings toward each other in their hearts. Therefore, the two countries enjoy a deep and solid foundation of friendship.

Among the first-generation leadership of a new China, Zhou Enlai, Deng Xiaoping and Chen Yi once studied in France. Some former French presidents also had close ties with China, from Charles de Gaulle who repelled various disagreements to recognize the PRC, to Velery Giscard D'estaing and Jacques Chirac who were "China hands" fascinated by Chinese culture and history.

Nicolas Sarkozy, in the latter half of his term, always mentioned the importance of China when he talked about international situations.

France-China relations have been good or very good over the long run, D'estaing said, adding that France and China, both globally influential countries, should maintain frequent contact and exchanges.

Hollande, who was elected in 2012, relayed the great attention that his predecessors attached to China. The first foreign envoy he received after taking office was Kong Quan, China's ambassador to France.

Hollande also named Paul Jean-Ortiz, a career diplomat who headed the Foreign Ministry's Asia department, knows China well and can speak Mandarin, as his diplomatic advisor.

When China's new leadership took office in March, Hollande immediately held a phone conversation with President Xi Jinping and congratulated him on his election as president.

Hollande told Xi that France is willing to use the opportunity of the 50th anniversary of diplomatic ties between France and China in 2014 to map out future cooperation between the two countries.


The primary goal of Hollande's visit to China is to enhance mutual political trust, and build friendships between the new leaders of the two countries, analysts said.

As Xi said earlier, the development of China-France ties will benefit the two nations and their people. It will also contribute to creating a new cooperative win-win mode between developed countries and emerging economies and developing nations.

Furthermore, the development of China-France ties will also help promote China-Europe relations as a whole and push forward multipolarity of the world and democratization of international relations, Xi added.

In the telephone conversation with Xi last month, Hollande said both France and China, as permanent members of the UN Security Council, advocate global multipolarity and share the same or similar positions on many major issues.

China plays a significant role in promoting world peace, stability and development, and France is determined to strengthen the comprehensive relations of strategic partnership between the two sides, Hollande said.

Hollande's trip as the first head of state from a major Western country to visit Beijing since China's new leadership took office reflects the depth of France-China ties, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said.

He said Holland's visit will inject fresh impetus to the development of France-China relation.


Economic cooperation will be another important topic of Hollande's coming visit.

China and France are both major economies in the world. They enjoy a good tradition and solid foundation of bilateral economic cooperation. Both nations expect to further explore new areas of cooperation and inject new vitality into their economic cooperation and trade.

Official statistics show that France is by far the fourth largest trading partner of China within the European Union and the fourth biggest source of investment. France also is the second biggest exporter of technology for China.

Bilateral trade topped 51.02 billion U.S. dollars in 2012, including 24.12 billion dollars worth of Chinese imports from France, a 9.3-percent growth year on year.

In January, the two-way trade volume reached 4.18 billion dollars, up 5.3 percent from last year. China's imports from France stood at 1.83 billion dollars, up 25.5 percent year on year.

All of the figures show that trade between China and France is heading toward more balanced growth.

In the cultural field, exchanges of visits between China and France have become more frequent in recent years. More than 1 million Chinese tourists visit France annually in a boost to the French economy.

China and France held a language year for each other in 2012. More and more young people have started to learn each other's language.

Among Hollande's entourage are ministers of a number of departments, including foreign affairs, economy and finance, energy and education as well as representatives of some 50 companies.

The French entrepreneurs hope that they could use the opportunity of China's economic and social transformation to strengthen cooperation with Beijing in such fields as city management, environmental protection and health care.

More tangible results are expected during the visit so as to push forward mutually beneficial and win-win cooperation between the two countries.

Editor: Chen Zhi
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