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Wang Yi: Inject More Strategic Connotation into China-France Relations
2018-09-13

On September 13, 2018, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian of France jointly met the press after their talks.

Wang Yi said that Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian has visited China for four times since he took office over the past year, which fully demonstrates the great importance attached by the French side and Mr. Foreign Minister in particular to China-France relations. I just had candid and friendly talks and reached extensive consensus with Mr. Foreign Minister. The most important two points are as follows:

First, both sides should fully implement the consensus reached by the two heads of state, and promote strong development momentum of China-France relations. This year is a groundbreaking one for China-France relations. In January, President Emmanuel Macron paid the first state visit to China upon President Xi Jinping's invitation, achieving a complete success. The most significant outcome of his visit is that the two heads of state have charted the course and mapped out the blueprint for the future development of China-France relations. Since then, both sides have conducted a series of intensified high-level exchanges. For the next step, both sides should fully enhance mutually beneficial cooperation in various fields along the direction set by the two heads of state to promote closer, more practical and stable bilateral relations.

Second, both sides should inject more strategic connotation into China-France relations, and make greater contributions to world peace and development. As the uncertainties and instabilities of the current international situation are mounting, and unilateralism and protectionism have been on the rise, international rules have been impacted, and multilateral system is facing challenges. At such a crucial historical moment, China and France, as permanent members of the United Nations (UN) Security Council, should strengthen strategic communication and coordination, and join hands to safeguard global free trade system, the process of multilateralism, and existing international order.

Wang Yi expressed that in the next stage, China and France will focus on following work:

First, both sides should reinforce strategic dialogue, and deepen strategic coordination under the guidance of head-of-state diplomacy and high-level exchanges, in a bid to build more political consensus for safeguarding multilateralism. The Chinese side appreciates President Emmanuel Macron's willingness to visit China once a year, welcomes President Emmanuel Macron to visit China again next year, and stands ready to work with the French side to well do preparatory work.

Second, both sides should accelerate the implementation of cooperation plans in various fields set by the two heads of state, focus on the Belt and Road Initiative to discuss new forms of cooperation including the joint exploration of the third-party market, promote the better integration of the construction of the Belt and Road Initiative with the implementation of international agendas including the Paris Agreement and the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and conduct high-quality, high-standard, green, environment friendly, and sustainable cooperation. As the established new development concepts of China, such gestures not only conform to the trend of the times, but also benefit the two countries and the world.

Third, both sides should take the 55th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and France and the 100th anniversary of work-study program in France next year as an opportunity to create a new wave of China-France people-to-people and cultural exchanges. Both sides will hold a series of commemorative activities to further promote people-to-people bonds and enhance friendship between the Chinese and French people.

Fourth, both sides should enhance strategic cooperation under multilateral frameworks including the UN, jointly deal with global challenges in all forms, enhance dialogue on important topics including the Iranian nuclear issue, climate change, and reform of the World Trade Organization, and jointly promote important meetings including the G20 Buenos Aires Summit and Asia-Europe Meeting to achieve the expected outcomes.

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