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Xi Jinping Holds Talks with President Emmanuel Macron of France

2019-03-26

On March 25, 2019 local time, President Xi Jinping held talks with President Emmanuel Macron of France at the Élysée Palace in Paris. The two heads of state agreed to inherit the past and usher in the future to forge a more solid, stable and vigorous China-France comprehensive strategic partnership at a new historical starting point.

Xi Jinping pointed out that great changes have taken place in the international situation, but China-France relations have always kept developing on a high level and in a sound and stable way. Since Mr. President took office, bilateral relations have reached a new high in less than two years, with many new outcomes achieved. This year is of special commemorative significance, as it marks the 55th anniversary of the establishment of China-France diplomatic relations, the 100th anniversary of the Chinese Diligent Work-Frugal Study Movement, and also the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China. Knowing the past can help people judge today and move on better. The world is undergoing major changes unseen in a century, and humanity stands at a crossroads. For China, France and Europe, they also come to a critical stage of development. The Chinese side is willing to work with the French side to inherit the past and usher in the future, enable the close and enduring China-France comprehensive strategic partnership to continue walking at the forefront of the times, and make more historic contributions to building an open, inclusive, clean and beautiful world that enjoys lasting peace, universal security and common prosperity.

Xi Jinping stressed that to the sound development of China-France relations, political mutual trust holds the key; practical cooperation is the only path; and amity between the two peoples is the foundation. Under the new circumstances, China and France should do better in the three aspects. Both sides should continue to explore the way of conduct between major countries featuring independence, mutual understanding, visionary thinking, and mutual benefit and win-win results. Politically, both sides should consolidate the "dam" of mutual trust, as well as erect the "beacon" of ideal. Both sides should deepen all-round and multi-level communication and exchanges, give full play to the role of various institutional dialogues, and intensify exchanges between governments, legislative bodies, political parties and militaries. Both sides should adhere to respecting and accommodating each other's core interests and major concerns, seek harmony but not uniformity, and seek common ground while reserving differences. Both sides should enhance cooperation in the United Nations (UN), the G20 and other multilateral mechanisms, intensify communication and coordination in major international issues including the climate change, push forward the implementation of the Paris Agreement and the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and safeguard the basic norms governing international relations as underpinned by the purposes and principles of the UN Charter and multilateral trading system with concrete actions.

Xi Jinping pointed out that as for practical cooperation, China and France should not only tap fully into the "sources of flowing water" of the market, but also dredge the "waterway" of policies. Both sides should deepen cooperation in traditional fields including nuclear energy, aviation and aerospace, and speed up cooperation in emerging fields including scientific and technological innovation, agriculture, finance and elderly care services. We appreciate that Mr. President has repeatedly expressed the willingness to carry out practical cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative with the Chinese side. Both sides should well implement the demonstration projects for third-party market cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative, and provide more support and convenience for bilateral trade and investment. We have just issued the Foreign Investment Law, and will continue to substantially relax restrictions on market access, optimize business environment, strengthen protection of intellectual property rights, and build a high-level new pattern of opening up. We welcome more French enterprises to invest and establish business in China, and also hope that the French side will provide fair, open and non-discriminatory treatment for Chinese enterprises to invest in France.

Xi Jinping emphasized that in the aspect of people-to-people and cultural exchanges, China and France should not only ensure the unimpeded "main channel" of inter-governmental cooperation, but also enrich the "trickles" of non-governmental exchanges. Both sides should give full play to the overall and coordinative role of China-France high-level people-to-people and cultural exchange mechanism, strengthen cooperation in culture, tourism, language and youth as well as cooperation at local level, jointly well hold celebratory activities commemorating the 55th anniversary of the establishment of China-France diplomatic relations and the 100th anniversary of the Chinese Diligent Work-Frugal Study Movement, and hold China-France year of culture and tourism in each other's country in 2021.

Xi Jinping pointed out that China and the European Union (EU) are two major forces, two major markets and two major civilizations in today's world. China attaches importance to the strategic position and role of Europe, and has always regarded deepening its relations with Europe as its diplomatic priority. The Chinese side supports the French side in continuously playing a leading role in Europe's unity for strength. It is hoped that the French side will exert more positive influence on pushing the EU to develop its relations with China, and that both sides will accelerate the negotiations on a China-EU investment agreement and start the joint feasibility study on China-EU free trade zone at an early date.

Emmanuel Macron said that since the establishment of diplomatic relations between France and China 55 years ago, the two sides have always respected each other, which makes it possible for us to carry out an extensive range of fruitful cooperation. The keynote of France-China comprehensive strategic partnership is cooperation. France congratulates the People's Republic of China on its huge achievements made since its founding 70 years ago, remains committed to becoming China's reliable and clear strategic partner, and stands ready to work with China to build a balanced, stable, secure and prosperous world. Being fully confident in the future of bilateral relations, the French side stands ready to, together with the Chinese side, reinforce cooperation in such fields as aviation, aerospace, nuclear energy, agriculture, finance, scientific research, automobile manufacturing, and elderly care services and integrate "Industry of the Future" of France with "Made in China 2025". The French side is willing to actively participate in the second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation and the second China International Import Expo. France vigorously supports promoting exchanges and cooperation between the two countries in education, culture, sports, tourism and military defense.

Emmanuel Macron noted that the French side spoke highly of China's important guiding role in multilateral agendas such as coping with climate change and peace keeping, adding that the French side does not accept protectionism. France and China share many common positions in international affairs and maintain close communication and coordination. France and China and the EU and China can, through cooperation, promote more international agendas, improve global governance system and safeguard multilateralism and free trade. France stands ready to actively push EU-China cooperation relations for constant and forward-looking development and advocates advancing the alignment of EU's connectivity strategy with the Belt and Road Initiative.

After the talks, the two heads of state jointly witnessed the exchange of bilateral cooperation documents including cooperation in third-party market.

The two heads of state also jointly met the press.

Prior to the talks, Emmanuel Macron held a grand welcome ceremony for Xi Jinping at the Arc de Triomphe.

Paris in March enjoys clear, cloudless blue sky and beautiful sunshine. The guard of honor and the military band lined up at Square of the Star, waiting for Xi Jinping.

When Xi Jinping and Peng Liyuan arrived at the Arc de Triomphe, Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte Macron warmly welcomed them. The two heads of state walked into Square of the Star and stood in front of the army flag of France. The military band played the national anthems of China and France. Accompanied by Emmanuel Macron, Xi Jinping reviewed the French Republican Guard, and the guard of honor of army, navy and air force of France. The two heads of state walked toward the Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers and laid a wreath. The military band played the national anthems of the two countries again. Xi Jinping shook hands with official representatives and representatives of members of the Committee of the Flame of France respectively, signed on the honored guest book as well as shook hands with old French soldiers and flag bearer of the Legion of Honor. Xi Jinping and his wife shook hands with principal French officials while Emmanuel Macron and his wife shook hands with members of the Chinese delegation.

Afterwards, escorted by a motorbike fleet, Xi Jinping went to the Élysée Palace by car. More than 100 cavalrymen of the French Republican Guard lined up along the way to greet him.

Ding Xuexiang, Yang Jiechi, Wang Yi, He Lifeng and others attended the above activities.

At around 10:00 a.m. of the same day, after concluding his visit in Nice, Xi Jinping departed from Nice for Paris by special plane to continue his state visit to France. Two French fighter jets took off to escort Xi Jinping's special plane. When the special plane arrived at Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport, senior officials of the French government greeted Xi Jinping at the airport.

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