Spotlight: French officials, experts hail Xi's visit a boost to ties

Source: Xinhua| 2019-03-27 14:50:25|Editor: zh
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PARIS, March 27 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping's visit to France has drawn wide public attention here, with French officials and experts hailing it a boost to the development of France-China relations.

During his state visit, Xi held talks with his French counterpart, Emmanuel Macron. The two leaders agreed to carry forward the high-level ties between the two countries and forge a more solid, stable and vibrant China-France comprehensive strategic partnership on a new starting point.

Former French Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin said Xi's visit has brought a "new spring" to France-China relations. The two countries are committed to strengthening international cooperation, safeguarding multilateralism, jointly dealing with climate change and building a community with a shared future for mankind.

The two countries adhere to the principle of reciprocity and win-win and promote their cooperation in the third-party market within the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), which plays a positive role in promoting world peace and stability, he said.

"Xi's visit will become a new starting point of France-China relations," said Raffarin.

Former French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin said Macron's China trip in 2018 and Xi's visit to France this time have proved that the two countries have maintained frequent high-level exchanges.

The two leaders share their views on global governance, de Villepin said, and both countries have a strong sense of responsibility for the current world which is full of risks.

"The Belt and Road Initiative gives the answer to how states develop and hold dialogues (with each other). China and the European Union (EU) should build a more effective regular consultation framework, in a bid to dispel misunderstanding and determine the priority projects in the initiative," said de Villepin.

Claude Raynal, president of the France-China Friendship Group of the French Senate, said frequent high-level exchanges between the two countries help them to synergize their respective strategies, and promote consensus and cooperation.

He said Xi's visit also strengthened political trust of the two countries, which serves as a guarantee for long-term development of bilateral ties.

David Gosset, a French expert on international affairs and China, said "After 55 years of diplomatic relations, the intensity of the exchanges between France and China has never been so high."

Xi's visit to France has promoted cooperation between China and France, as well as the EU, in tackling climate change, maintaining multilateralism, enhancing UN's role and promoting trade connections. The convergence is a source of hope for the world, Gosset said.

France-China relations have never been only about the Chinese and the French people. Synergies between the two countries serve global peace and development and mankind's common good, he added.

Alain Pompidou, a French scientist and son of former French President Georges Pompidou, said the two countries have a long history of friendship. In the current world, the two countries have to reinforce again their cooperation, which is already strong at the worldwide level, and that is the importance of Xi's visit this time.

Didier Bernheim, a correspondent member of the Academy of Fine Arts of France, said culture and arts are the best approaches to shorten the distance between the two peoples. France and China have already forged long-term and frequent exchanges in such fields as fine arts, music and architecture, he added.

Eric Lefebvre, director of the Cernuschi Museum in Paris, said France and China have already formed regular high-level cultural exchange mechanisms. Xi's visit will make Chinese culture and arts more attractive to the French people.

He said he hoped cultural institutions of the two countries can maintain active exchanges and communication.