New growth engine urged for Sino-French teamwork
President underlines bilateral cooperation in major projects, synergy of visions
China and France should deepen pragmatic cooperation and speed up cultivation of new growth engines, President Xi Jinping said on Monday.
Xi made the remark while meeting with French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.
The prime minister’s visit followed French President Emmanuel Macron’s state visit to China in January, showing that France considers developing relations with China to be very important, Xi said.
The world is undergoing profound changes, and China would like to work with France to enrich the content of the comprehensive strategic partnership and set an example of bilateral ties that feature mutual respect and win-win cooperation, Xi said.
The president called on the two sides to strengthen their partnership, uphold mutual trust and equal treatment, and respect each other’s core interests and major concerns.
The two countries should make full use of all dialogue mechanisms and platforms to enhance mutual understanding and boost mutual trust, Xi said.
Xi stressed the importance of deepening pragmatic cooperation, saying that the consensuses and agreements reached by the two sides previously should be implemented as soon as possible.
The two countries should focus on cooperation in major projects and speed up cultivating new engines for growth, Xi said.
China appreciates France’s proactive participation in building the Belt and Road, Xi said, adding that China would like to connect the initiative with the development strategies of France and the European Union.
Xi stressed that China and France should jointly uphold multilateralism, stick to justice and jointly maintain the basic principles of international relations.
Thirteen agreements to promote cooperation in fields such as agriculture and nuclear energy were signed by the two nations and witnessed by Premier Li Keqiang and Philippe on Monday afternoon.
Li and Philippe reached a consensus in principle to boost cooperation in the aviation industry. China would like to build closer ties with Airbus and an agreement should be signed at an appropriate time for buying more Airbus airliners, the premier said.
As two permanent members of the UN Security Council, China and France should cope with rising uncertainties in the international economic and political contexts, including climate change and increasing trade protectionism, Li said during a news conference with Philippe.
The two countries agreed to promote trade liberalization and expand bilateral trade, Li said. French companies are welcome to invest in China, and China would like to buy French agricultural goods suited to its domestic demand, including beef, he said.
Li called for further cooperation in nuclear power and exploration of third-party markets. China has the largest number of nuclear power plants under construction in the world, and an agreement on spent nuclear fuel disposal should be signed as soon as possible, he said.
Philippe said France would like to deepen cooperation with China in such areas as economy, trade, culture, nuclear energy for civil use, airlines and aerospace.
Philippe said that the Belt and Road Initiative meets the interests of the whole of mankind. France would like to make joint efforts with China in promoting global peace and stability and enhancing EU-China relations, he said.
Philippe started his visit on Friday in Shenzhen, Guangdong province, before his stay in Shanghai and Beijing. He headed back to France on Monday night.