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Wang Yi: Forging "Three Major Handles" to Comprehensively Deepen China-France Practical Cooperation

On May 16, 2018 local time, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian of France jointly met the press after their talks in Paris.

Wang Yi said that France is the first stop of my visit to Europe this time. This afternoon, I met with President Emmanuel Macron and had an in-depth communication with Foreign Policy Advisor to the President of France Philippe Etienne. Just now, I held fruitful talks with Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian.

We agreed to seize the opportunity to elevate the China-France comprehensive strategic partnership to new stages. During President Emmanuel Macron's visit to China this January, he and President Xi Jinping jointly confirmed the guiding principle for the development of China-France relations in the new period, and made comprehensive plans for bilateral cooperation in various fields. We will earnestly and well implement the significant consensus reached by the two heads of state and make sure that China-France relations will always run at a high level.

We agreed to forge "three major handles" to comprehensively deepen practical cooperation between the two countries. First, take the existing cooperation in major projects as a handle to promote the integration and development of high-tech industries such as nuclear energy, aviation and aerospace. Second, take China's new round of opening up as a handle to deepen China-France cooperation in emerging fields such as innovation, artificial intelligence and digital economy, and break new ground for bilateral cooperation. Third, take the holding of China-France Year of the Environment as a handle to strengthen bilateral strategic communication and cooperation in the fields of climate and environment. It is a decision jointly made by the two heads of state to hold China-France Year of the Environment, which has the significance that transcends bilateral scope and has great international influence. We should strive to launch it as soon as possible, in order to not only advance China-France cooperation in green manufacturing and green finance, but also make active contributions to the global efforts in dealing with climate change and realizing sustainable development.

We held that discussing the alignment of the "Belt and Road" construction and France's own development strategies will bring new opportunities and open up new prospects for bilateral cooperation. President Emmanuel Macron has always held an active and open attitude on France's participation in the "Belt and Road" construction, for which China appreciates. China is willing to, together with France, discuss ways and approaches of cooperation and especially carry out third-party market cooperation with all-out efforts through equal consultation.

We agreed to jointly push forward the healthy and steady development of China-Europe relations. Europe is an important polar of world multi-polarization and a vital force in safeguarding the order of multilateralism. President Emmanuel Macron has put forward a series of new thoughts on strengthening the construction of the European Union (EU), for which China appreciates. China firmly supports the European integration and supports Europe in maintaining unity and stability, and in realizing prosperity and development. This year marks the 15th anniversaries of the establishment of the comprehensive strategic partnership between China and the EU. China is willing to take this as an opportunity to actively expand cooperation and properly handle differences with the European side, in order to promote the consolidation and enhancement of bilateral relations. In this process, China hopes that France could continue playing a leading role and make greater contributions to promoting the China-EU comprehensive strategic partnership.

Wang Yi expressed that Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian and I also exchanged views on such hotspot issues as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on the Iranian nuclear issue and the international trade frictions. We believed that it is necessary for China and France, permanent members of the United Nations Security Council and major countries with international influence, to strengthen strategic communication and collaboration and shoulder the due responsibilities of safeguarding regional and global peace and stability. To this end, we both held that the JCPOA on the Iranian nuclear issue should be safeguarded continuously. We also held that unilateralism and trade protectionism run counter to the historical trend, and are not right choices. China and France will continue explicitly advocating multilateralism on the international stage and firmly safeguard the global free trade system with the rules of the World Trade Organization at the core.

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