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Xi Holds Talks With French President on Cooperation, China-Eu Relations, Ukraine Crisis

Chinese President Xi Jinping held talks with French President Emmanuel Macron in Beijing on Thursday, calling on both sides to enhance cooperation, promote relations between China and the European Union, and work jointly for a political settlement of the Ukraine crisis.

ENHANCING BILATERAL COOPERATION

Noting that the two sides need to make good use of their all-round, high-level communication channels, Xi called on the two sides to maintain close communication between the two presidents, and hold a new round of meetings this year for the three high-level dialogue mechanisms, namely the strategic dialogue, the economic and financial dialogue, and the dialogue on people-to-people exchanges.

China will work with France to deepen cooperation in such fields as agrifood, space, aviation, and civil nuclear energy, foster new cooperation areas including trade in services, green development, and innovation in science and technology, and support the joint development of a carbon neutrality center and joint cultivation of talents, he said.

China welcomes France as the guest country of honor at the China International Fair for Trade in Services 2024 and the seventh China International Import Expo, Xi said, voicing the hope that France will provide Chinese businesses with a fair, just and non-discriminatory business environment.

Macron said despite their different development models, the two countries have respected each other, communicated with candor, and achieved mutual benefits in their wide-ranging cooperation.

He pointed out that he was taking a large delegation to China to seek closer cooperation and people-to-people exchanges, and France is ready to work with China on the third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation that China will host.

Addressing the closing ceremony of a meeting between Chinese and French entrepreneurs, Xi said China-France economic and trade cooperation has not only boosted the economic development of the two countries and improved people’s well-being, but has also enhanced confidence and stabilized expectations for global economic recovery.

Noting that China’s economic and social vitality has now been fully unleashed, Xi said the two sides should seize the opportunity to strengthen cooperation, and called on them to remain open and inclusive and deepen mutually beneficial cooperation, uphold independence and safeguard their common interests, while adhering to solidarity and coordination to promote the common development of the world.

ISSUING JOINT CALL FOR POLITICAL SETTLEMENT OF UKRAINE CRISIS

Xi stressed that China’s position on the Ukraine issue is consistent and clear. It is essentially about facilitating peace talks and political settlement.

He said China stands ready to issue a joint call with France for the international community to stay rational, exercise restraint, and avoid taking actions that might cause the crisis to further deteriorate or even spiral out of control; to strictly abide by international humanitarian law, avoid attacking civilians or civilian facilities, and protect women, children and other victims of the conflict; to earnestly honor the pledge that nuclear weapons must not be used and nuclear wars must not be fought, oppose the use of biological weapons under any circumstances, and oppose armed attacks against nuclear power plants or other civilian nuclear facilities; to resume peace talks as soon as possible, observe the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, accommodate the legitimate security concerns of all parties, seek political settlement, and foster a balanced, effective and sustainable European security architecture; and to jointly address the spillover effects of the Ukraine crisis in food, energy, finance, transportation and other fields, and reduce the negative impact of the Ukraine crisis on the world, especially on developing countries.

Macron shared France’s view on the issue, and commended China’s important role in the political settlement of the Ukraine crisis. France calls for the resumption of political negotiations and a settlement of the crisis through diplomatic means to achieve lasting peace in Europe. France hopes to increase communication and make joint efforts with China toward peace.

PROMOTING STEADY DEVELOPMENT OF CHINA-EU TIES

On the same day, Xi held a trilateral meeting with Macron and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen in Beijing.

Xi pointed out that China and the EU share extensive common interests. Cooperation and common ground between the two sides outweigh competition and differences. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the establishment of China-EU comprehensive strategic partnership. China is prepared to work with the EU to fully resume exchanges at all levels and revitalize mutually-beneficial cooperation in various fields, thus injecting fresh impetus into China-EU relations and global peace, stability and prosperity.

Xi called on China and the EU to jointly uphold global stability and prosperity, and stand against hegemonism, unilateralism and attempts to decouple economies or sever supply chains.

He said the two sides need to step up macroeconomic and financial policy communication and coordination, deepen their green partnership, and increase dialogue and cooperation on green financing, environment-friendly technologies and clean energy.

Von der Leyen said the EU and China are each other’s important trading partners and the two economies are highly intertwined. Decoupling from China is neither in the EU’s interests nor the EU’s strategic choice. The EU sets its China policy independently. It would like to restart the High-Level Economic and Trade Dialogue and advance steady and balanced growth of economic and trade ties with China for mutual benefit.

Macron said the EU and China should work with each other to stay away from the trap of economic decoupling and severing supply chains, carry out mutually-beneficial cooperation on an equal footing, tackle pressing global challenges such as climate change, and keep deepening the EU-China comprehensive strategic partnership. 

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