Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Qin Gang on Wednesday called for closer exchanges with France in all levels, while urging a more open market for each other and strengthening international affairs cooperation while jointly facing global challenges.
Qin made the remarks during his talks with French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna in Paris.
Speed up cooperation in various fields
Calling French President Emmanuel Macron's state visit to China a great success, Qin said China is willing to work with France to implement the important consensus reached by the two heads of state, speed up exchanges and cooperation in various fields, and push forward the close and enduring China-France comprehensive strategic partnership.
Qin said China has always regarded Europe as a comprehensive strategic partner, and has always unequivocally supported the continent to strengthen its strategic autonomy and play an active role in the international arena, stressing that China advocates a China-Europe relationship that is not targeted at, subjugated to, or controlled by any third party.
China and France, as well as China and Europe, should pursue win-win cooperation through greater mutual opening-up and build a China-EU supply chain partnership with greater stability and mutual trust, he added.
He doubled down on China's determination on promoting high-quality development and high-level opening-up, vowing to advance cooperation and share developing opportunities with the international community.
Noting that France-China relations are of vital importance, Colonna said that the two heads of state have set a clear direction, and both sides should make joint efforts to promote greater development of bilateral relations.
She suggested that the two sides fully restart cooperation mechanisms in various fields and strengthen cooperation in such areas as climate change, biodiversity, and energy transition, adding that France attaches great importance to its economic relations with China, and believes that such relations are interdependent, mutually beneficial, complementary, open and transparent.
France does not engage in camp confrontation and believes that all countries should live in harmony and achieve common development, Colonna stressed, noting that China plays an important role in world peace and stability.
The two ministers also exchanged opinions on the Ukraine Crisis. Qin briefed Colonna about China's position on and the work it has done for solving the Ukraine crisis, stressing that China is committed to pushing for the political settlement of the crisis, maintains communication with all parties, and will continue to play a constructive role in this regard.
Colonna noted that France is willing to strengthen communication with China on major international and regional issues such as the Ukraine crisis, and seek more common ground.
Promote mutual respect between cultures
When consulting Colonna on the high-level dialogue mechanism on people-to-people exchanges between the two countries on Wednesday, Qin noted that China and France, two ancient nations with splendid civilizations, share the responsibility to promote mutual respect and inclusiveness between different cultures and civilizations, and to sow the seeds of peace around the world.
He called on the two sides to follow through on the consensus reached by the two heads of state, make good use of the high-level people-to-people exchange mechanism, further deepen people-to-people exchanges between the two countries and enhance mutual understanding between their peoples.
Qin suggested the two sides focus on promoting cooperation in such fields as sports, education, language, and science and innovation, and tourism. Facing the changes and turbulence in the international landscape, the two countries should also help remove barriers and bias between different cultures and civilizations.
For her part, Colonna expressed her agreement with the suggestions of the Chinese side, saying that France attaches great importance to bilateral people-to-people exchanges.
As next year will mark the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries, with the Paris 2024 Olympic Games to be held, Colonna said, her country is ready to work with China to plan celebrations for the anniversary, and push for greater development of bilateral cooperation in tourism, sports and other fields.
France and China, both boasting a long history and a splendid culture, should strengthen cultural exchanges, including cooperating on aspects such as cultural heritage, cultural tourism, education and language, she added.