Chinese President Xi Jinping (L) holds a welcome ceremony for visiting French President Emmanuel Macron before their talks in Beijing, capital of China, Jan. 9, 2018. (Xinhua/Zhang Duo)
BEIJING, Jan. 9 (Xinhua) -- China and France Tuesday agreed to further advance their comprehensive strategic partnership.
Chinese President Xi Jinping and French President Emmanuel Macron reached the consensus during their talks in Beijing.
Macron is on a state visit to China from Jan. 8 to 10 at Xi's invitation.
Xi said that Macron is the first foreign head of state to visit China in 2018, as well as the first European leader to visit China since the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC).
"Bilateral ties stand at a new starting point," Xi said. "China stands ready to promote exchanges and enhance mutual trust and cooperation with France in order to inject new impetus into the development of the China-France comprehensive strategic partnership."
Xi stressed that the two countries should give full play to the political leading role of the head of state diplomacy, and promote communication between governments, legislative organs, political parties, and the military of the two countries.
"Both sides should accommodate each other's core interests and major concerns, and properly handle differences in order to make sure the bilateral ties develop steadily on the right track," Xi said.
He called on the two countries to deepen strategic cooperation in traditional areas such as nuclear energy and aerospace, nurture new growth points of cooperation, and promote cooperation in emerging areas including agriculture and food, health and medical services, urban sustainable development, green manufacturing and finance.
Xi called for integrating the development strategies of China and France, strengthening innovative cooperation, and achieving common development in the areas of digital economy, artificial intelligence and advanced manufacturing industry.
"The two countries should seize new opportunities created by the Belt and Road Initiative, and carry out practical cooperation within the Belt and Road framework in order to promote prosperity of Eurasia," he said.
On people-to-people exchanges, Xi called for the development of long-term cooperation and mechanism building in various fields, saying that the two countries should take the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics and the Paris 2024 Summer Olympics as opportunities to deepen sports cooperation, and enhance tourism and youth exchanges.