Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) meets with his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron in Osaka, Japan, June 29, 2019. (Xinhua/Yan Yan)
OSAKA, June 29 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping on Saturday called for concerted efforts by his country and France to defend multilateralism amid profound global changes unseen in a century.
Xi made the remarks at a meeting with his French counterpart, Emmanuel Macron, on the sidelines of a summit of Group of 20 major economies in the Japanese city of Osaka.
Recalling his state visit to France in March, Xi said a series of strategic consensus and cooperation agreements reached between the two sides are being implemented step by step.
In the face of protectionism and unilateralism, as well as challenges such as climate change confronting mankind, Xi said China and France should shoulder their responsibilities as major countries, adhere to independence, and work together.
Noting that the world has been undergoing profound changes unseen in a century, he encouraged China and France to act as defenders of multilateralism, practitioners of open cooperation, guardians of world peace, and champions of exchanges among civilizations, so as to promote world peace, stability, development and progress as well as protect the Earth.
Xi noted that the construction of the Belt and Road Initiative has entered a new stage of high-quality development, calling on China and France to speed up the implementation of third-party market cooperative projects and promote cooperation in nuclear energy, aerospace and other major projects.
China welcomes France to take part in the second China International Import Expo, Xi said.
He called on the two countries to make good preparations for the China-France year of culture and tourism scheduled in 2021 and promote cultural and people-to-people exchanges.
Xi also called on China and France to keep close coordination on global and regional affairs and promote the political settlement of hotspot issues.
Macron said Xi's state visit to his country has made fresh progress in bilateral relations in such areas as politics, economy and humanities.
He said he looks forward to paying another visit to China.
France, Macron said, is ready to expand cooperation with China in areas including agriculture, digital economy, energy and civil nuclear energy, and enhance cultural exchanges.
As both France and China support multilateralism, the countries should closely coordinate on global governance and proactively cooperate and play a leading role in multilateral agendas such as tackling climate change and biodiversity, he said.
The two sides also compared notes on Korean Peninsula and Iranian nuclear issues. The French side spoke highly of Beijing's important and constructive role in promoting peace talks, and expressed willingness to strengthen communication and coordination with the Chinese side to safeguard regional peace and stability.