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FM meets with Macron, French officials in Paris

By CHEN WEIHUA in Brussels | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2020-08-30 09:42

French President Emmanuel Macron meets visiting Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi at the Elysee Palace in Paris on Aug 28, 2020. [Photo/Xinhua]

China and France hope to expand cooperation and bolster their comprehensive strategic partnership, according to meetings between State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi and French leaders.

Wang, who met French President Emmanuel Macron at the Elysee Palace on Friday, conveyed a message from President Xi Jinping to the French leader and also handed over books presented by Xi to Macron.

The top Chinese diplomat said that Xi's message shows that China places great importance to Sino-French relations and cherishes the friendship and trust built between the two heads of state.

China is ready to work with France to earnestly implement the important consensus reached by the two leaders and deepen the comprehensive strategic partnership between the two countries.

Macron thanked Xi for the important message and the books, and asked Wang to extend his greetings to Xi. He welcomed Wang's visit to France and Europe and said it's of great significance for France and China to maintain strategic communication.

Wang said the pressing issue is to resume bilateral exchanges in various fields in an orderly manner while ensuring regular COVID-19 prevention and control measures are in place, such as in cooperation of researching and developing COVID-19 therapeutics and vaccines and preventing future pandemics.

He said the two countries should continue to show strong support for the World Health Organization in coordinating and leading the global pandemic response, as well as opposition to politicization and stigmatization of COVID-19.

China is ready to rev up win-win cooperation with France on major projects, Wang said.

He said Europe is an important force in a multipolar world and China and Europe have always been partners instead of rivals, and their consensus far outweighs differences.

Wang said that China appreciates Macron's call for Europe to strengthen strategic independence, which reflects not only France's tradition of being independent, but also Europe's role as a pillar of the world.

With rising unilateralism and protectionism, Wang said China and Europe should join hands in upholding multilateralism and the basic norms governing international relations and build an open global economic system.

China hopes France and Europe contribute more to the stability of the world and that the three parties should work together for their next multilateral agenda, deepen the comprehensive strategic partnership between China and the European Union, and be on the right side of history, according to Wang.

Macron said France highly appreciates China's commitment to making its COVID-19 vaccines, once available, a global public good. He said France is ready to deepen cooperation with China in the fight against the pandemic and push for more fruitful cooperation, such as in economic, trade and agricultural fields.

France is ready to work with China to push forward their comprehensive strategic partnership, support multilateralism, strengthen communication and coordination in public health, climate change, biodiversity and issues relating to Africa, and jointly implement the Debt Service Suspension Initiative within the G20 framework, according to the French president.

Macron, who said he is looking forward to visiting China again at an early date, said the two sides should map out the important exchanges and political agenda between the EU and China for the next stage.

France is the fourth leg of Wang's five-nation European tour, which started Tuesday. He has visited Italy, the Netherlands and Norway. After France, Wang will go to Germany.

During his visit in France from Friday to Sunday, Wang also met with Emmanuel Bonne, diplomatic counselor to Macron, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian and Constitutional Council President Laurent Fabius.

On Sunday morning, Wang is scheduled to speak at a conference at the French Institute of International Relations.

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