Chinese President Xi Jinping said on Sunday that it is very important for Beijing and Paris to pursue a stronger relationship, focused on the long-term development of the two countries, so that both states continue to play an active role in the international community.
Xi Jinping, who started an official visit to France yesterday, spoke during a meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron in Nice, southern France.
Recalling the history of friendly exchanges between China and France, Xi pointed out that France was the first major Western country to establish diplomatic relations with the People's Republic of China (PRC).
He said his visit has a special significance, as it takes place in the year that celebrates both the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China and the 55th anniversary since the establishment of diplomatic relations between Paris and Beijing.
"The history of cooperation between China and France shows that bilateral ties are not a zero-sum game. The strong complementarity between the two economies will remain for a long time," the Chinese statesman said, adding that China's sustained development and opening-up process will create several new opportunities, as well as a broader space for bilateral cooperation.
Xi called on the two countries to constantly explore new fields of cooperation, promote new areas of growth, and accelerate the implementation of cooperation projects included in the 'One Belt, One Road' initiative, among others.
Macron said that France is paying close attention to the 'One Belt, One Road' initiative, adding that he regards China as an important strategic cooperation partner.
The French president also said he appreciates China's role in environmental protection, especially in the fight against climate change, as well as in other international issues.
Macron undertook to further strengthen communication and collaboration with China and to give prominence to the France-China strategic partnership, in order to safeguard multilateralism and promote world peace and prosperity.
France is the last leg of Xi Jinping's European tour, which has also included Italy and Monaco.