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President hails relations with France, Colombia

By CAO DESHENG and XU WEI | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2021-02-26 07:07

A reach stacker handles cargo containers at the Manzhouli Railway Station in Manzhouli, North China's Inner Mongolia autonomous region, on July 1, 2020. A record 12,406 China-Europe freight train trips were made in 2020, up 50 percent from the previous year, according to China's National Development and Reform Commission. [Photo/Xinhua]

China and France should continue to deepen mutual trust, respect and accommodate each other's core interests and major concerns and actively work toward new progress in cooperation in areas such as energy, aerospace, agriculture and food products, President Xi Jinping said on Thursday.

Xi made the remarks in a phone conversation with French President Emmanuel Macron. He also spoke over the phone with his Colombian counterpart Ivan Duque.

Xi recalled his five phone calls with Macron last year, which he said promoted the growth of bilateral relations. He called for unremitting efforts from this year to bring bilateral relations to a higher level.

The two sides must carefully plan the important political agenda between China and the European Union in the next phase and work together to bring the China-EU investment agreement into effect as early as possible, he said.

China, after having offered COVID-19 vaccines to over 50 developing nations, stands ready to work with France to support the role of the World Health Organization in the fight against the pandemic and jointly take part in the Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator initiative and COVAX, he said.

Xi also highlighted the need to encourage more nations to join the Paris climate agreement, saying that China is pleased to see that the international community, including France, is boosting investment in Africa.

Macron said he is willing to promote more progress in important areas of bilateral cooperation with an open and cooperative attitude.

France appreciates China's active contribution to international cooperation in fighting COVID-19, especially in its efforts to make vaccines available to developing nations, Macron said.

He added that Paris looks forward to closely cooperating with Beijing in coping with global challenges including climate change.

In talks with Duque, Xi said the two countries have seen healthy and steady development in their ties in recent years, with pragmatic cooperation optimized and upgraded.

Xi spoke of bilateral cooperation in the fight against COVID-19 and said China stands ready to continue to support Colombia's anti-epidemic efforts and develop vaccine cooperation with it.

He called on the two countries to support each other and actively expand cooperation in agriculture, animal husbandry, new energy, digital economy and innovative industry.

Duque thanked China for its support for his country in fighting the pandemic as well as its supply of vaccines, and said Colombia looks forward to continuing strengthening vaccine cooperation with China.

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