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State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi Holds Talks with French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian
2020-08-30

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

Wang said that COVID-19, which is taking its toll on the world, calls for solidarity of humanity. Since the outbreak of the virus, President Xi Jinping and President Emmanuel Macron have had four telephone conversations; the foreign ministers of the two countries have spoken on the phone seven times; and the Chinese and French people have redenderd each other help and support. All these have demonstrated that solidarity and cooperation is the most powerful weapon to defeat the virus.

Wang also noted that the fact that the Chinese foreign minister visited France in his first overseas trip amid the ongoing COVID-19 response speaks volumes about the importance China places on France's position as an independent major country and on EU's role as an important pole of the world. China is ready to work with France to further strengthen bilateral ties, deepen cooperation with the EU, and uphold multilateralism more effectively.

Wang noted that in a world undergoing changes rarely seen in a century, the China-France relationship, which is one of the most robust relationships between major countries, is gaining greater significance globally.

Guided by head-of-state diplomacy, the two sides should give full play to the role of the China-France relationship in advancing relations between China and the West, and set an example of major countries having positive interactions.

The two sides should work together on large projects to upgrade bilateral cooperation, and set an example of major countries achieving mutual benefit and win-win results.

The two sides should work closer on innovation, advance cooperation in areas from smart city, electric vehicle, and organic agrifood to fintech and digital economy, provide a fair, just, open and non-discriminatory environment for each other's businesses, and set an example of major countries pursuing a shared future.

The two sides should jointly uphold multilateralism, support each other in ensuring the success of COP15 of the Convention on Biological Diversity in Kunming and the World Conservation Congress in Marseille, carry out more third-party cooperation against COVID-19 and for development, and set an example of major countries delivering benefits to the world.

And the two sides should seek common ground while putting aside differences, respect each other's choice of development path, core interests and major concerns, and set an example of major countries enjoying friendly relations.

Wang underscored that there is no fundamental conflict of interests between China and the EU and the common interests of the two sides far outweigh their differences. Facing growing international uncertainties, China and the EU must strengthen solidarity and cooperation, bring more stability to the world, safeguard international security and stability, and contribute to the development and prosperity of all countries.

China will work with the EU to secure positive outcomes in the political exchanges in the next stage, and conclude the negotiations on a bilateral investment agreement within this year. These are concrete steps to uphold multilateralism and the free trade system, and to oppose unilateralism and protectionism.

Le Drian commended the close ties between France and China and the sound momentum in bilateral cooperation. France appreciates China's substantial assistance to its COVID-19 response, and is ready to deepen mutually beneficial cooperation with China across the board. The two sides may work together to advance the development of vaccines, ensure that vaccines will be a global public good, and support the WHO in delivering its mandate and functions.

France looks forward to deepening dialogue and cooperation with China in such areas as artificial intelligence, electric vehicle, clean energy and eco-agriculture. It will work with China to ensure the success of the World Conservation Congress in Marseille and the COP15 in Kunming, strengthen international cooperation on climate change, and advance digital economy globally, to showcase the exemplary role of the two countries in defending multilateralism. France attaches great importance to EU-China relations, and is ready to work with China for successful political exchanges in the next stage and for an early conclusion of the EU-China investment agreement.

The two sides also had an in-depth exchange of views on regional and international issues of shared interest, and agreed that safeguarding and practicing multilateralism is a shared responsibility and pressing task for China and France.

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