Paris and Beijing signed 40 bilateral contracts in the fields of aviation, agro-food, energy, tourism, health, finance and digital.
French President Emmanuel Macron scored points for France, Europe & Global environment at the end of his State visit to China, while having a dig at Donald Trump and stealing the thunder of the European commissioner he brought with him.
French foie gras, Franco-Italian small aircraft, French utility company Engie and European luxury foods were among those he advocated for, in addition to the world’s climate and biodiversity, in a series of contracts and agreements signed on Wednesday in Beijing.
Macron and Chinese President Xi Jinping launched the “Beijing Call for the conservation of biodiversity and climate change”, which formalised the joint leadership role they have taken in support of the Paris Agreement and further elevated the importance of preserving biodiversity. The French President also took the opportunity to undercut the American position on the issue.
Chinese President Xi Jinping held talks with his French President Emmanuel Macron at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing during his recent State Visit to China.
“We have made mutual visits to our respective Countries on the 55th Anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations and lifted China-France ties to a higher level,” President Xi said.
President Xi noted that the speeches, delivered respectively by him and President Macron at the Opening Ceremony of the Second China International Import Expo in Shanghai, sent a strong message to the world in firmly safeguarding multilateralism and free trade, as well as building an open world economy.
“Our frank, in-depth and fruitful discussions on many topics of common concern have deepened mutual understanding and trust,” President Xi said.
China and France as two permanent members of the UN Security Council & representatives of Eastern and Western civilisations, should strengthen strategic communication, shoulder more responsibilities and exercise their roles as major countries, as the world is undergoing changes rarely seen in a century, President Xi said.
He pledged to work jointly with Macron to further advance the China-France comprehensive strategic partnership, looking out on the world, the future and the people, and keep the partnership at the forefront of major country relations.
China-France ties have shown a strong momentum of development, President Xi said, adding that the consensus reached by him and Macron had been actively implemented since his successful state visit to France in March.
Citing some successful projects including the No.1 and No. 2 power units of Taishan Nuclear Power Plant, which have provided a successful model for the construction of third generation nuclear power plants around the globe, President Xi said the two countries have published the list of the second batch of industrial cooperation projects.
The Chinese Government has just successfully issued 4 billion euro denominated sovereign bonds in Paris. The two countries have also completed negotiations on an agreement of geographical indications between China and Europe.
President Xi expressed his hope that more tangible cooperation results will be achieved.
Stressing the importance of maintaining and enhancing political mutual trust, President Xi called on both sides to put their words of respecting each other’s sovereignty, territorial integrity, core interests and major concerns into actions.
The two countries should facilitate exchanges between their legislative bodies, political parties and armed forces, and support the central and local departments in strengthening exchanges, President Xi said, calling for strengthened cooperation on cybersecurity and counter-terrorism.
The Chinese president called for further cooperation on large-scale projects, saying that China is ready to deepen the entire industrial chain cooperation with France in the nuclear energy field, encourage China’s enterprises to explore new cooperation with France not only within the two countries, but also in third-party markets, and strengthen joint research and development on nuclear base and high-tech technologies.
President Xi said he hoped the new cooperation in aviation, aerospace and other fields could be well implemented.
“We should expand the opening up of the two-way markets. China is willing to expand two-way trade and investment with France, improve trade and investment liberalisation, and jointly uphold market rules and the principle of fair competition,” President Xi said.
He said he hoped that France will put into action its words of not adopting discriminatory policies against China.
“China 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,” President Xi said, noting that 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-European Union (EU) investment agreement.
Regarding the alignment of the Belt & Road Initiative (BRI) with the EU’s Euro-Asian connectivity strategy, President Xi called for speedy implementation of the agreed demonstration projects, and the promotion of more enterprises to participate in the third party market, and the green development of the Belt & Road.
President Xi said China and France should intensify cooperation on innovation and achieve sustainable development. Efforts should be made to deepen science and technology cooperation, strengthen cooperation in fields including environmental protection and biodiversity conservation, and expand pragmatic cooperation in new energy vehicles, Internet-connected cars and artificial intelligence.
“More French enterprises are welcome to take part in the construction of Wuhan Ecological Demonstration City,” President Xi said.
As for promoting exchanges and mutual learning among civilisations, President Xi wished the 2021 China-France Year of Culture and Tourism a success, noting that the two sides should strengthen cooperation in museum and cultural heritage protection.
President Xi said China is ready to strengthen cooperation with France in multilateral mechanisms such as the United Nations (UN) and the Group of 20.
The two countries should jointly safeguard the international system with the UN at the core, the international order based on international law, as well as the multilateral trading regime with World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules as the cornerstone, President Xi said.
They should push forward reform of the WTO toward the right direction through consultation & give special consideration to developing countries’ rights and interests, President Xi said.
“We will adhere to the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities, encourage more countries to cooperate in combating climate change with full and thorough implementation of the Paris Agreement,” the Chinese president said.
President Macron said he is glad to visit China again on the 55th Anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations.
“My frequent exchanges with President Xi have deepened friendship and political mutual trust between France and China and boosted pragmatic cooperation,” President Macron said, voicing his agreement with Xi on views concerning bilateral cooperation.
France and China take the same position on many major international issues, and the two countries, as two major powers, shoulder particularly significant responsibilities under the current international situation, he said.
Referring to France’s strengthened dialogue and cooperation with China as “playing an important exemplary role,” Macron said France 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 areas such as aviation, aerospace, and civilian nuclear energy, as well as sci-tech innovation and finance, he said.
China’s issuance of euro-denominated sovereign bonds in Paris is of great significance to France, Macron said, pledging to keep the French market open to Chinese companies.
He said France is ready to advance the alignment of the BRI with the EU’s Euro-Asian connectivity strategy and jointly promote the green development of the Belt & Road.
Macron called on the two sides to expand people-to-people exchanges, promote mutual learning between civilisations, jointly safeguard multilateralism, strengthen strategic communication and coordination on anti-terrorism and Iran nuclear issues, and advance the progress of the WTO reforms.
Speaking of the Beijing Call for Biodiversity Conservation and Climate Change, which was released after the talks between the two heads of state, Macron said that France and China can play a leading role in these important issues.
It is of critical significance for the European Union to intensify cooperation with China in today’s uncertain world, and France is willing to advance EU-China ties and speed up the negotiation of the EU-China investment agreement.
After the talks, the two heads of state witnessed the signing of cooperation agreements in areas including aerospace and aviation, nuclear energy, emergency management, cultural heritage, agriculture, industry, natural conservation, finance and third-party cooperation.
They also met with the press together and witnessed the signing of a joint statement on concluding the negotiations of geographical indications between China and the EU.
An action plan on China-France ties was also released after their talks.
President Xi & President Macron also attended the closing ceremony of an economic summit between China and France.
China upholds opening-up and the opening strategy of mutual benefit and win-win results, and will continue to improve internal and external linkage of development to benefit more countries and peoples while realising its own development, President Xi said in his speech.
President Xi said China is ready to work with France and Europe to resolutely uphold the multilateral trading system and oppose protectionism and unilateralism, build a free and open trade and investment policy environment and inject impetus to facilitate world economic growth.
President Xi called on China and France to positively align with universally accepted international rules and standards, work to achieve high-standard and sustainable goals that benefit people’s livelihood and jointly build the Belt & Road with high-quality.
China and France should shoulder the responsibility to address the global governance deficit, safeguard multilateralism, jointly tackle global challenges and build a community of a shared future for humanity, President Xi said.
President Macron called on France and Europe to open their markets to China, welcome investment from Chinese enterprises, and provide them with a business environment featuring fair competition.