Interview: Former French PM advocates France-China cooperation for renewal of multilateralism

Source: Xinhua| 2019-11-24 12:27:54|Editor: huaxia
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PARIS, Nov. 24 (Xinhua) -- China contributes to the renewal of multilateralism in a world troubled by a strong resurgence of unilateralism, and France also involves itself in the necessary diplomatic work, former French Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin has told Xinhua.

"Multilateralism today is in a difficult situation," warned Raffarin, adding it is "absurd" and more "dangerous" to desert cooperation and abandon channels of dialogue in a period of tensions.

"Nations today are so interdependent," and cooperation is "a daily obligation" between consumers and suppliers, partners and competitors, he said.

Looking at the weaknesses of multilateralism today, Raffarin noted the need to remake the multilateral system.

The meeting of Chinese President Xi Jinping, French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker in Paris in March over global governance "represents a very big step in the right direction," Raffarin said.

Raffarin said China's diplomacy is "inspired by a conviction deeply rooted in the Chinese culture" -- one has more to gain from cooperation than from confrontation.

"China shows in each circumstance its adherence to multilateralism," said the former French prime minister, recalling Xi's speeches on several occasions advocating stronger multilateral cooperation so as to achieve world peace and common prosperity.

Raffarin noted that in today's world, "it is clear that we cannot have a multilateral vision of the world without taking into account the Chinese perspective," adding that France and China "have a lot in common" regarding their global visions.

"When multilateralism was founded, notably when we had passed from the League of Nations to the United Nations, it was Europe and the West which were the dominant force," he said.

"Today, Africa and Asia need a place that they didn't have in 1945 and thus we must think toward new rules," Raffarin said. "It's shared work and a virtuous circle of cooperation for France and China."

Raffarin pointed out that the Belt and Road Initiative is a large cooperative international project taking place in a period when "we see a deficit in projects," and the initiative has "brought together many partners."

Raffarin was among the six recipients of China's Friendship Medal in September for their great contributions to promoting exchanges and cooperation between China and the world.

"I worked for 50 years on the friendship between the French and Chinese people," Raffarin said.

There is a need to solidify Euro-Chinese friendship, he said. "To work toward this friendship is to work for peace."