Xi, Macron exchange greetings over phone ahead of Chinese new year

Source: Xinhua| 2020-01-22 19:50:31|Editor: huaxia

BEIJING, Jan. 22 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping and French President Emmanuel Macron exchanged greetings in a phone conversation on Wednesday ahead of the Chinese Lunar New Year.

Macron wished Xi and the Chinese people a happy Spring Festival, and Xi extended the same wishes to Macron and the French people.

The year of 2019 witnessed high-level development of China-France relations, Xi said, noting that he and Macron exchanged visits to each other's country, ushering in a new chapter in bilateral ties, and that the agreements they reached are being well implemented.

"I'm willing to work with you in the new year to maintain the high-level development of China-France ties," said the Chinese president.

Xi called on the two sides to leverage the leading role of high-level exchanges, saying that he is willing to maintain regular communication with Macron so as to exchange ideas on significant issues of mutual concern in a timely manner.

He urged the two countries to accelerate the implementation of the consensus their leaders have reached on practical cooperation, accomodate the key concerns of both sides, push forward win-win cooperation in such fields as civilian nuclear energy, science and technology, industry and aerospace, and make good preparations for the 2021 China-France Year of Culture and Tourism.

The Chinese market is open to the whole world, and will certainly continue to be open to Europe and France, Xi said.

The two sides, he added, should enhance communication and coordination on international affairs, and support each other in hosting the World Conservation Congress and the fourth One Planet Summit in France and the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP 15) to the Convention on Biological Diversity in China.

They should also deepen communication and coordination on the reform of the World Trade Organization, and jointly keep the reform in the right direction, added the Chinese president.

Xi noted that China and the European Union (EU) will celebrate the 45th anniversary of their diplomatic ties this year, and the two sides will have a series of major exchange programs.

Xi expressed his hope that China and the EU will reach a high-level investment agreement as soon as possible, and join hands to uphold multilateralism and free trade, improve global governance, build an open world economy, and tackle climate change and other global challenges, so as to lift the China-EU relationship to higher levels in the new year.

For his part, Macron said this year is of great significance both to France-China ties and to EU-China relations, with a long list of items on both agendas. He added that he looks forward to visiting China again.

Calling for continuous expansion of bilateral cooperation in trade, investment, environment protection and other areas, he said France hopes to strengthen coordination and cooperation with China on such issues as climate change, biodiversity and World Trade Organization reform, and supports the Chinese side in successfully holding COP 15.

Macron reiterated that on the 5G issue, France will not adopt discriminative measures against any specific nation or company and stands ready to keep communication with the Chinese side.

He also expressed his hope that negotiations on the EU-China investment agreement will achieve progress as soon as possible.

On the outbreak of pneumonia in China caused by a novel coronavirus, Macron said France supports China in actively dealing with it and is willing to enhance health cooperation with the Chinese side.

Xi said that since the outbreak, China has taken strict measures in prevention, control and treatment, and has been releasing relevant information to the public and keeping the World Health Organization as well as relevant countries and regions posted in a timely manner.

China, Xi added, is willing to work with the international community to effectively tackle the spread of the disease and maintain global health security.

The two heads of state also exchanged views on the Iran nuclear issue.