Xi Jinping Holds Talks with President Emmanuel Macron of France

On November 6, 2019, President Xi Jinping held talks with President Emmanuel Macron of France at the Great Hall of the People.

Xi Jinping said, you and me attended the opening ceremony of the second China International Import Expo (CIIC) in Shanghai yesterday. In our respective speeches, we sent a strong message to the world in firmly safeguarding multilateralism and free trade, as well as building an open world economy. We also had candid, in-depth and fruitful exchanges on many topics of common interest, deepening mutual understanding and trust. China and France, as two permanent members of the United Nations (UN) Security Council and representatives of Eastern and Western civilizations, should strengthen strategic communication, shoulder more responsibilities and live up to our responsibilities as major countries, as the world is undergoing profound changes unseen in a century. I am willing to work with you to take a future-oriented and people-oriented step to embrace the world, further elevate China-France comprehensive strategic partnership, and keep the partnership at the forefront of major-country relations.

Xi Jinping stressed, China-France relations have shown strong momentum of development at present. Since my successful state visit to France in March this year, the consensus reached by us is being actively implemented. The No.1 and No. 2 power units of Taishan nuclear power plant were completed and went into service, which has provided a successful model for the construction of third-generation nuclear power plants around the globe. The two countries have published the list of the second batch of demonstration projects of industrial cooperation. The Chinese government has just successfully issued 4 billion euro-denominated sovereign bonds in Paris. China and France have also completed negotiations on an agreement of geographical indications between China and the European Union (EU). The Chinese side is willing to work with the French side to focus on six major targets and push for comprehensive and in-depth development of exchanges and cooperation so that more tangible results will be achieved.

First, we need to maintain and enhance political mutual trust. We need to put our words of respecting each other's sovereignty, territorial integrity, core interests and major concerns into actions. We should strengthen exchanges and cooperation between our legislative bodies, political parties and armed forces, and support the central and local departments in strengthening exchanges. We need to strengthen cooperation on cyber security and counter-terrorism.

Second, we need to further cooperation on large-scale projects. The Chinese side is ready to deepen the entire industrial chain cooperation with the French side in the nuclear energy field, encourage China's enterprises to explore new cooperation with the French side not only within the two countries, but also in third-party market, strengthen joint research and development on nuclear energy base and high-tech technologies, and well implement new cooperation in aviation, aerospace and other fields.

Third, we need to expand the opening-up of the two-way markets. The Chinese side is willing to expand two-way trade and investment with the French side, improve trade and investment liberalization and facilitation, and jointly uphold market rules and the principle of fair competition. It is hoped that the French side will put into action its words of not adopting discriminatory policies against China. The Chinese side is willing to import more high-quality and safe French agri-food products and carry out all-round agricultural cooperation in accordance with market demand. More efforts should be made to strengthen exchanges and cooperation in the intellectual property rights field and support the early conclusion of an ambitious and balanced China-EU investment agreement.

Fourth, we need to promote the alignment of the Belt and Road Initiative and the EU Strategy on Connecting Europe and Asia. We need to accelerate the implementation of the list of agreed demonstration projects, and actively encourage more enterprises to participate in third-party market cooperation, and push for the green development of the Belt and Road Initiative.

Fifth, we need to deepen cooperation on innovation and achieve sustainable development. We should promote the in-depth development of science and technology cooperation, and strengthen cooperation in fields including environmental protection and biodiversity conservation. More French enterprises are welcome to take part in the construction of the Sino-French Wuhan Ecological Demonstration City. We should expand practical cooperation in such fields as new energy vehicles, Internet-connected cars and artificial intelligence.

Sixth, we need to promote exchanges and mutual learning among civilizations. We should ensure the 2021 China-France Year of Culture and Tourism a success, and strengthen cooperation in fields including museum and cultural heritage protection.

Xi Jinping stressed, the Chinese side is ready to strengthen cooperation with the French side within multilateral mechanisms such as the UN and the G20. The two countries should firmly safeguard the international system with the UN as its core, the international order based on international law, as well as the multilateral trading regime with the World Trade Organization (WTO) rules as the cornerstone. Both sides should push forward the WTO reform toward the right direction through consultation, and give special consideration to protecting countries' rights and interests. The two countries should adhere to the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities, and encourage more countries to participate in international cooperation in coping with climate change with full and thorough implementation of the Paris Agreement.

Emmanuel Macron said, I am glad to visit China again on the 55th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between France and China. My frequent exchanges with President Xi Jinping have deepened friendship and political mutual trust between France and China and vigorously boosted practical cooperation. I completely agree with President Xi Jinping's views on deepening bilateral cooperation. France and China take the same position on many major international issues, and the two countries, as two major countries, shoulder particularly significant responsibilities under the current international situation. France's strengthened dialogue and cooperation with China plays an important exemplary role. The French side is willing to properly settle the differences between the two sides based on mutual respect. French companies are eagerly looking forward to taking the opportunity of China's expanded opening-up, further entering into the Chinese market, expanding exports of agricultural products to China, and strengthening cooperation in traditional areas such as aviation, aerospace, and civilian nuclear energy, as well as expanding cooperation in other areas including sci-tech innovation and finance. China's issuance of euro-denominated sovereign bonds in Paris is of great significance to France. The French side holds an open attitude toward Chinese companies' cooperation in France and keeps the French market open to Chinese companies. The French side is ready to advance the alignment of the Belt and Road Initiative and the EU Strategy on Connecting Europe and Asia and jointly promote the green development of the Belt and Road Initiative. France and China should expand people-to-people and cultural exchanges, promote mutual learning among civilizations, jointly safeguard multilateralism, strengthen strategic communication and coordination on issues including counter-terrorism and the Iranian nuclear issue, and advance the WTO reform for progress at an early date. The two countries will jointly release the Beijing Call for Biodiversity Conservation and Climate Change. France and China could play a leading role in these important issues. It is of critical significance for the EU to intensify cooperation with China in today's uncertain world, and the French side is willing to push EU-China relations for in-depth development and speed up the negotiation process of the EU-China investment agreement.

After the talks, the two heads of state witnessed the signing of multiple cooperation agreements in areas including aerospace and aviation, nuclear energy, emergency management, cultural heritage, agriculture, industry, natural conservation, finance and third-party cooperation.

The two heads of state also met with the press together and witnessed the signing of the Joint Press Statement on the End of the Negotiations of an Agreement between the EU and the Government of the People's Republic of China on Cooperation on, and Protection of, Geographical Indications.

The two countries jointly issued an action plan for China-France relations and the Beijing Call for Biodiversity Conservation and Climate Change.

Witnessed by Emmanuel Macron, Xi Jinping accepted the credentials presented by newly-appointed French Ambassador to China Laurent Bili.

Prior to the talks, Xi Jinping held a welcome ceremony at the square outside the East Gate of the Great Hall of the People for Emmanuel Macron. Peng Liyuan, Yang Jiechi, Hu Chunhua, Cao Jianming, Wang Yi, Xia Baolong, He Lifeng and others were present.

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