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Continued China-France cooperation supports world peace and development

Author  :  SUN HAICHAO     Source  :    Chinese Social Sciences Today     2019-04-11

In March this year, after five years, Chinese President Xi Jinping once more paid a visit to France. The previous visit was paid at the 50th anniversary of the establishment of China-France ties. And this year marks the 55th anniversary of the establishment of the ties. The visit thus carries considerable significance. 

In the context of unprecedented centennial changes facing the world, relationships between countries have been dramatically altered and the international landscape has had to adjust.

A major power with substantial international influence and an important EU member, France has been pursuing a friendly policy toward China. For the past 55 years, China-France ties have experienced ups and downs, but overall, their political mutual trust and their mutually beneficial economic and trade relationships have constantly advanced.

China and France have established three major dialogue mechanisms, including a military strategic group, high-level economic and financial dialogue and high-level people-to-people and cultural exchange mechanisms. The cooperation mechanisms also cover the local level, such as the China-France Roundtable of Mayors and the High-Level China-France Forum on Local Government Cooperation. 

The number of Chinese and French students studying in each other’s country is 40,000 and 10,000 respectively. France has set up 16 Alliance French centers in China, and China has set up 17 Confucius Institutes in France.

France is a popular destination for Chinese citizens traveling abroad, and China has become France’s largest source of tourists in Asia. 

The two countries believe and stress that they shoulder important responsibilities in today’s world and that it is necessary for them to maintain and deepen their negotiation and coordination regarding major international and regional hotspot issues. The two are both dedicated to promoting multilateralism and constructing a multi-polar world. Given the complex international situation, the two countries’ cooperation in terms of safeguarding free trade and the efficacy of the Paris Agreement on climate change in addition to maintaining world peace has obviously strengthened.

After taking office, French President Emmanuel Macron emphasized an independent foreign policy and France’s unique role in international affairs so as to resume the country’s international influence. 

Currently, the two countries’ cooperation on Belt and Road (B&R) construction and the third-party market have stably advanced. Cooperation on nuclear power, aviation, aerospace, agriculture, finance, sustainable development and other sectors has also seen new achievements.

Before visiting France, President Xi also paid a fruitful state visit to Italy and Monaco. During the visit to France, Xi exchanged ideas with French President Macron about China-France relations, China-Europe relations, and the international and regional issues of mutual concern. They also signed cooperative treaties in various sectors.

Xi’s visit this time will give new impetus to the China-Europe comprehensive strategic partnership. It will also inject stability into today’s changing international situation and support the maintenance of multilateralism. In addition, by aligning B&R construction with the EU’s Eurasian Connectivity Strategy, connectivity across the Eurasian continent has been fostered, which is conducive to the sustainable growth of the global economy. 

 

 

This article was edited and translated from Guangming Daily. Sun Haichao is the director of the European Center of the China International Studies Foundation and former minister-counselor of the Chinese Embassy in France.

 

 

Edited by BAI LE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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