Xi urges China and France to defend independence, deter “new Cold War.”

Chinese President Xi Jinping said that China is willing to maintain strategic communication with France, respect each other's core interests, and consolidate the strategic stability of bilateral relations, tap the vast potential of mutually beneficial cooperation and facilitate growth and balance in bilateral trade.

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Chinese President Xi Jinping and his French counterpart, Emmanuel Macron, hold talks at Elysee Palace, in Paris, France, May 6, 2024. (Xinhua/Yin Bogu)

As the world goes through transformation and turbulence not seen in a century, China and France should uphold independence and jointly prevent a “new Cold War” or bloc confrontation, Chinese President Xi Jinping said here Monday.

Xi made the remarks during talks with his French counterpart, Emmanuel Macron, at Elysee Palace.

The Chinese president expressed his delight in making the third state visit to France on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the establishment of China-France diplomatic relations.

The two sides should stay committed to the spirit that guided the establishment of their diplomatic ties, namely, independence, mutual understanding, long-term vision and mutual benefit, and enrich it with new features of the new era, Xi said.

The two sides should continue to understand each other, jointly promote harmonious coexistence in a colorful world, stick to taking a long view and work together for an equal and orderly multipolar world, he said.

They should pursue win-win cooperation and jointly oppose decoupling, cutting off supply chains, he said.

Xi stressed that China is willing to maintain strategic communication with France, respect each other’s core interests, and consolidate the strategic stability of bilateral relations, tap the vast potential of mutually beneficial cooperation and facilitate growth and balance in bilateral trade.

China is willing to import more quality products from France, push for more practical results from the “French farm to Chinese dining table” mechanism, and hope that France will export more high-tech and high value-added products to China, Xi said.

The two sides should enhance the docking of development strategies, deepen cooperation in traditional areas such as aerospace and aviation, strengthen cooperation in nuclear energy, innovation and finance, and expand cooperation in emerging areas such as green energy, smart manufacturing, biomedicine and artificial intelligence, he said.

China has fully liberalized access to its manufacturing sector and will speed up market access in telecommunications, medical and other services, Xi said.

We welcome more French companies to invest in China, he said, adding that China hopes that France will provide a sound business environment and stable development expectations for Chinese companies to invest and cooperate in France.

Xi stressed that both as major countries with a rich culture, China and France should speed up people-to-people and cultural exchanges, continue to hold various activities of the China-France Year of Culture and Tourism, and actively promote cooperation in the joint protection and restoration of cultural relics and pairing between world heritage sites.

Welcoming more French friends to visit China, Xi said that China will extend the visa-free policy for short-term visits to China by 12 countries, including France, until the end of 2025.

China also looks forward to hosting more than 10,000 French students in the next three years and doubling the number of European youth exchanges in China, Xi said.

China supports France in hosting a successful Paris Olympic Games and will send a high-level delegation to France, said the Chinese president.

China is willing to deepen cooperation with France in climate change, biodiversity and other fields, support France in hosting a successful UN Ocean Conference, and encourage the pairing of relevant national parks and nature reserves of the two countries, Xi said.

China is also willing to strengthen dialogue and communication with France in such areas as artificial intelligence governance and reform of the international financial system.

For his part, Macron said that France and China will celebrate the 60th anniversary of their diplomatic relations this year, noting that the two countries enjoy a friendly relationship and productive cooperation regarding not just cutting-edge technologies but also global issues such as climate change and marine biodiversity. During Xi’s visit, the two sides signed many cooperation agreements, which again showcased the potential and prospects of France-China cooperation.

The world now faces many pressing challenges, and the profound and rich France-China relationship is at a critical juncture of building on the past and looking to the future, he said.

The two sides, through mutual respect, a long-term perspective and strengthened cooperation, will play an important and positive role in addressing global challenges and opposing any logic of bloc confrontation, Macron said.

France would like to have closer economic ties and multilateral communication and collaboration with China, and work for more outcomes in the France-China strategic partnership, he said.

France hopes to export more agricultural products to China, and at the same time, it will continue to open its market to China, and will not adopt discriminatory policies against Chinese companies, said Macron, welcoming investment and cooperation by more Chinese companies, including high-tech firms.

France is ready to step up cooperation with China in such areas as aerospace and aviation, and nuclear energy for civilian use, and jointly hold the France-China Year of Culture and Tourism activities, he said, adding that France welcomes the Chinese delegation to the Paris Olympic Games.

France is willing to stay in close communication and cooperation with China on global issues including climate change, biodiversity protection, and AI, and jointly uphold multilateralism, the UN Charter and international law, he said.

The two sides also had an in-depth exchange of views on international and regional issues of mutual interest including the Ukraine crisis and the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

Xi pointed out that today’s world is far from being tranquil. China and France, as permanent members of the UN Security Council, should speak out for peaceful settlement of hotspot issues and contribute to a world of lasting peace and common security. China is willing to work with France to advocate, on the occasion of the Paris Olympic Games, a cessation of hostilities around the world during the Games.

The two sides issued four joint statements on the situation in the Middle East, on AI and global governance, on biodiversity and oceans, and on agricultural exchanges and cooperation. Close to 20 bilateral cooperation documents were signed in such areas as green development, aviation, agrifood, commerce and people-to-people exchanges.

After the talks, Xi and Macron held a joint meeting with the press.

In the evening, Macron and Madame Brigitte Macron held a welcoming banquet for Xi and Madame Peng Liyuan at Elysee Palace.

Cai Qi and Wang Yi, among others, were present at the events.

Xinhua News Agency

Founded in 1931, Xinhua News Agency is one of the largest news organizations in the world, with over 10,000 employees across the globe. As the main source of news and information for China, Xinhua plays a key role in shaping the country's media landscape and communicating its perspectives to the world. The agency produces a wide range of content, including text news articles, photos, videos, and social media posts, in both Chinese and English, and its reports are widely used by media organizations around the world. Xinhua also operates several international bureaus, including in key capitals like Washington, D.C., Moscow, and London, to provide in-depth coverage of global events.

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