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Wang Yi Holds Talks with Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian of France

2020/08/30

On August 29, 2020 local time, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi held talks with Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian of France in Paris.

Wang Yi said, the COVID-19 pandemic has brought serious impacts on the world, and also called for solidarity of mankind. Since the outbreak of the COVID-19, President Xi Jinping and President Emmanuel Macron have had four phone conversations while foreign ministers of the two countries have talked to each other on the phone for seven times. The Chinese and French people have been supporting and helping each other. This proves that solidarity and cooperation are the most powerful weapons to defeat the pandemic. The Chinese foreign minister's visit to France during the first overseas trip under the regular COVID-19 prevention and control fully reflects the importance the Chinese side attaches to France as an independent major country and to the European Union (EU) as an important pole in the world. The Chinese side is willing to work with the French side to seek stronger bilateral ties, further promote China-EU cooperation and safeguard multilateralism more effectively.

Wang Yi expressed, China-France relations, as one of the most stable relations among major countries in today's world that undergoes changes rarely seen in a century, bear even more prominent global significance. Both sides should, under the guidance of the head-of-state diplomacy, give full play to the role of the China-France relations in promoting the relationship between China and Western countries, in order to set an example of positive interactions among major countries. "We should let large-scale project cooperation drive quality improvement and upgrading of bilateral cooperation, so as to set an example of mutual benefit and win-win outcomes among major countries. Both sides should take cooperation in innovation as a breakthrough, promote cooperation in fields such as smart cities, electric vehicles, organic agriculture and food, financial science and technology and digital economy, and jointly provide a fair, just, open and non-discriminatory business environment for enterprises of both sides, so as to set an example for major countries to seek a shared future. Both sides should also, under the banner of multilateralism, support each other, ensure the success of the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity in Kunming and of the World Conservation Congress in Marseille, and carry out more third-party cooperation along the two main themes of pandemic-fighting and development, so as to set an example for major countries to benefit the whole world. Moreover, based on the principle of seeking common ground while reserving differences, we should respect each other's choice of development path, core interests and major concerns, so as to set an example of friendly relations among major countries.

Wang Yi noted, there is no fundamental conflict of interests between China and the EU, and the shared interests far outweigh differences. Against the backdrop of rising uncertainty in the world, China and the EU should strengthen solidarity and cooperation, inject more elements of stability into the world, maintain international security and stability, and promote the development and prosperity of all countries. The Chinese side is willing to work with the EU side to promote China-EU political exchanges in the next stage for positive results, complete the negotiations for a China-EU investment agreement within this year, take concrete actions to safeguard multilateralism and the free trade system, and resist both unilateralism and protectionism.

Jean-Yves Le Drian noted, France and China enjoy close relations and a good development momentum in cooperation. The French side appreciates the Chinese side for its strong assistance in France's fight against COVID-19 pandemic, and its willingness to deepen mutually beneficial cooperation in various fields with the Chinese side. The two sides can jointly promote cooperation in vaccine research and development, ensure that the vaccines become a global public product, and support the World Health Organization in fulfilling its mission while improving its efficiency. The French side hopes to deepen dialogue and cooperation with the Chinese side in such areas as artificial intelligence, electric vehicles, clean energy, and ecological agriculture. France will work with China to ensure the success of the World Conservation Congress in Marseille and the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity in Kunming. The two sides should strengthen international cooperation on climate change, jointly promote the development of global digital economy, and play an exemplary role in safeguarding multilateralism. The French side attaches great importance to EU-China relations, and is ready to work with the Chinese side to promote EU-China political exchanges in the next phase for success, and to reach an EU-China investment agreement as soon as possible.

The two sides also exchanged in-depth views on international and regional issues of common concern. They agreed that actively promoting and practicing multilateralism is the common responsibility and also a top priority of China and France.

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