Xi eyes new driving forces for China-France cooperation
Chinese President Xi Jinping suggested Thursday that China and France actively push for continuous progress in such areas of practical cooperation as energy, aviation and agricultural and food products, and foster new driving forces for bilateral cooperation.
In a telephone conversation with his French counterpart, Emmanuel Macron, Xi also said the two countries should cement mutual trust, respect and accomodate in earnest each other's core interests and major concerns, and effectively implement their major cooperation agreements.
The two heads of state exchanged Spring Festival greetings and respectively sent best wishes to the people of the other country.
Recalling that he and Macron held five phone conversations in 2020, Xi pointed out that those exchanges have promoted the sound development of China-France relations, and noted that the consensuses they reached have been well implemented.
In the new year, the two sides should continue to make joint efforts in the spirit of the pioneering ox and strive for greater development of bilateral relations, he said, adding that China supports building Paris into an international financial center.
Taking note of Macron's strong call for strategic independence of the European Union (EU), Xi stressed that China believes a stronger Europe is conducive to the peace, stability and development of a multipolar world, and to boosting cooperation between the two major forces of China and the EU to jointly tackle various global challenges.
The two sides, he added, should work together to make good preparations for the series of important political events between China and the EU in the next stage.
Recalling that at the end of last year, China and the EU jointly announced the completion of China-EU investment agreement negotiations, Xi called for concerted efforts to put the agreement into effect at an early date.
Cooperation between China and Central and Eastern European countries is part of the overall China-Europe cooperation, he pointed out, adding that China is ready to work with France to actively explore tripartite cooperation in Central and Eastern Europe, so as to open up new space for China-EU cooperation.
Xi emphasized that as permanent members of the UN Security Council and responsible major countries, China and France should continue to champion multilateralism, and inspire global efforts to uphold equity and justice, coordination and cooperation, as well as openness and inclusiveness, so as to make due contributions to achieving an early victory in humanity's fight against COVID-19 and promoting world peace and development.
China, he said, has offered COVID-19 vaccine aid to more than 50 developing countries, and stands ready to work with France to support the World Health Organization's role in international cooperation against the pandemic, and actively participate in the Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator initiative and the COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access Facility.
Xi added that China has been fully implementing the G20 Debt Service Suspension Initiative, pushing for an agreement by all relevant parties on the initiative's extension, and urging multilateral financial institutions and commercial creditors to take part.
China is glad to see France and other members of the international community increasing their involvement in Africa, and is willing to maintain communication with France, he said.
He also suggested that the two countries encourage more countries to carry out the Paris Agreement on dealing with climate change, and support each other in hosting the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity and the 7th World Conservation Congress.
Macron, for his part, said he applauds the development of France-China relations and is willing to work with the Chinese side in an open and cooperative manner to strive for more progress in bilateral cooperation in important areas and actively promote exchanges and cooperation between the EU and China.
The French president said he hopes that the EU and China will make joint efforts for an early entry into force of the EU-China investment agreement.
France appreciates China's positive contribution to international cooperation against the pandemic, especially in helping other countries obtain vaccines in a faster pace, he said, adding that he hopes to strengthen cooperation with China in this regard.
Macron said France is ready to strengthen communication with China in international affairs, and looks forward to working with China to encourage the international community to roll out debt relief and suspension for Africa and help the continent achieve economic growth.
France also stands ready to continue its close cooperation with China in tackling global challenges such as climate change and public health, he said, adding that his country supports China in hosting the biodiversity conference.
The two heads of state also exchanged views on regional hotspot issues of common concern.
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