Video source: CGTN
BEIJING, April 6 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping held talks with French President Emmanuel Macron in Beijing on Thursday.
President Xi welcomed President Macron's visit to China. He noted the profound historic transformation taking place in the world, and pointed out that China and France, as permanent members of the United Nations (UN) Security Council, major countries with a tradition of independence, and firm advocates for a multi-polar world and for greater democracy in international relations, have the ability and responsibility to rise above differences and obstacles, keep to the overall direction of a comprehensive strategic partnership that is stable, mutually beneficial, enterprising and dynamic, and practice true multilateralism for global peace, stability and prosperity.
Xi spoke favorably of the momentum of positive and steady growth in the China-France relationship. He stressed that stability, a defining feature and valued asset of this relationship, should be cherished by both sides. The two sides need to make good use of their all-round, high-level communication channels, maintain close communication between the two presidents, and hold a new round of meetings this year for the three high-level dialogue mechanisms, namely the strategic dialogue, the economic and financial dialogue, and the dialogue on people-to-people exchanges.
He said the two sides should respect each other's sovereignty and territorial integrity, respect each other's core interests, and properly handle and manage differences. They need to stay committed to mutual benefit and common development.
"China's pursuit of high-quality development and high-standard opening up will bring France even broader market opportunities," Xi said, adding that China will work with France to deepen cooperation in such fields as agrifood, space, aviation, and civil nuclear energy, foster new cooperation areas including trade in services, green development, and innovation in science and technology, and support the joint development of a carbon neutrality center and joint cultivation of talents.
Xi said China welcomes France as the guest country of honor at the China International Fair for Trade in Services 2024 and the seventh China International Import Expo. China hopes that France will provide Chinese businesses with a fair, just and non-discriminatory business environment.
Taking the opportunities brought by the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations, the China-France Year of Culture and Tourism, and the Paris Olympics next year, China will step up cooperation with France in relevant fields, he added.
Xi stressed China's readiness to continue to act in the spirit of openness and work with France to maintain close communication and coordination in multilateral mechanisms such as the UN, the G20 and the WTO, practice true multilateralism, and counter global challenges like climate change and energy issues. China supports France in hosting the UN Ocean Conference 2025, and welcomes France's participation in the third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation.
He stressed that China and Europe are two major forces, big markets, and great civilizations in the world, saying that China-Europe relations bear on the wellbeing of both sides and the stability and prosperity of the world at large. China will keep its Europe policy stable in the long run, continue to see Europe as an independent force in a multi-polar world, and stay committed to a China-Europe relationship that is not targeted at, subjugated to, or controlled by any third party.
"China will work with the EU and take this year's 20th anniversary of their comprehensive strategic partnership as an opportunity to resume exchanges and dialogues on all fronts, reinforce friendship and cooperation as the keynote of China-EU relations, explore a supply chain partnership featuring stability and mutual trust, and deliver benefits to both sides," Xi said, expressing the hope that France will play an active, leading role in this regard.
President Macron recalled his last visit to China more than three years ago and expressed his delight at visiting China again to explore with President Xi ways to further elevate the France-China comprehensive strategic partnership.
He fully agreed with President Xi's positive assessment of France-China relations and important suggestions on growing the bilateral ties. Next year, France and China will celebrate the 60th anniversary of diplomatic ties. Over the past six decades, France-China relations have maintained steady and sound growth. Despite their different development models, the two countries have respected each other, communicated with candor, and achieved mutual benefits in their wide-ranging cooperation.
Meanwhile, the two sides have made important progress in jointly meeting global challenges facing the world. France respects and follows the one-China policy. Macron pointed out that he is taking a large delegation to China to seek closer cooperation and people-to-people exchanges.
France congratulates China on the success of the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP15) to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity and wants to continue close communication and cooperation with China on issues like climate change and food security, Macron said.
He said France is ready to work with China on the third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation that China will host. France commends China for its abiding commitment to the purposes of the UN Charter and its positive role in addressing regional and international hotspot issues, and looks forward to closer communication and coordination with China for durable peace and stability in the world.
"France is committed to an independent foreign policy and to the strategic autonomy of Europe, and opposed to stoking confrontation, division and bloc rivalry," Macron said, adding that France will not pick sides. Instead, France calls for unity and cooperation to keep relations stable between major countries.
He said that France will maintain candid and in-depth communication with China to increase mutual trust, seek common ground while reserving differences, and pursue open cooperation. France will actively contribute to the growth of EU-China relations.
The two presidents also exchanged views on the Ukraine crisis. President Xi emphasized that China's position on the Ukraine issue is consistent and clear. It is essentially about facilitating peace talks and political settlement. There is no panacea for defusing the crisis.
Xi said it requires all parties to do their share and create conditions for ceasefire and peace talks through a buildup of trust. China supports Europe in playing its role in the political settlement of the crisis.
He said China stands ready to issue a joint call with France for the international community to stay rational, exercise restraint, and avoid taking actions that might cause the crisis to further deteriorate or even spiral out of control; to strictly abide by international humanitarian law, avoid attacking civilians or civilian facilities, and protect women, children and other victims of the conflict; to earnestly honor the pledge that nuclear weapons must not be used and nuclear wars must not be fought, oppose the use of biological weapons under any circumstances, and oppose armed attacks against nuclear power plants or other civilian nuclear facilities; to resume peace talks as soon as possible, observe the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, accommodate the legitimate security concerns of all parties, seek political settlement, and foster a balanced, effective and sustainable European security architecture; and to jointly address the spillover effects of the Ukraine crisis in food, energy, finance, transportation and other fields, and reduce the negative impact of the Ukraine crisis on the world, especially on developing countries.
China is ready to stay in touch with France and play a constructive role in the political settlement of the crisis, Xi said.
Macron shared France's view on the issue, and commended China's important role in the political settlement of the Ukraine crisis. France calls for the resumption of political negotiations and a settlement of the crisis through diplomatic means to achieve lasting peace in Europe. France hopes to increase communication and make joint efforts with China toward peace.
At the end of their talks, the two presidents witnessed the signing of bilateral cooperation documents covering agrifood, science and technology, aviation, civil nuclear energy, sustainable development, and culture.
The two presidents also jointly met the Chinese and foreign press.
Prior to the talks, President Xi held a welcoming ceremony for President Macron at the square outside the east gate of the Great Hall of the People.
Upon President Macron's arrival, honor guards lined up in salutation. The two presidents stepped onto a reviewing stand, and the military band played the national anthems of the two countries. A 21-gun salute was fired from Tiananmen Square. Accompanied by President Xi, President Macron then reviewed the guard of honor of the People's Liberation Army and watched the march-past.
Wang Yi and Qin Gang were present at the events.