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China, France Sign Joint Declaration

Chinese President Hu Jintao and his French counterpart, Jacques Chirac, signed a joint declaration on Tuesday, pledging to deepen the comprehensive strategic partnership between the two countries and make contributions to a safer, more diverse and united world.

During Hu's visit to France, both sides reaffirmed their profound friendship, the declaration said, adding that the ever-maturing Sino-French partnership has become an indivisible part of Sino-European relations and Asian-European dialogues.

In the face of the drastically changing international situation, China and France will continue consolidating, developing and enriching the comprehensive strategic partnership established since 1997, the declaration said.

According to the document, the two sides have reached consensus on the following three aspects -- making joint efforts to strengthen the multilateral system and safeguard collective security; promoting solutions to global concerns; and deepening Sino-French ties as a significant part of Sino-European relations.

Hu and Chirac signed the joint declaration after holding talks in the Elysee palace.

Hu arrived in Paris Monday afternoon to kick off his three-day state visit to France. France is the first leg of his four-nation tour, which will also take him to Egypt, Gabon and Algeria.

France reiterates one-China stand

The French government reiterated its commitment to the one-China stand in a joint declaration signed by visiting Chinese President Hu Jintao and his French counterpart, Jacques Chirac, on Tuesday.

The French government reaffirms its consistent stand on the one-China policy, the joint declaration said.

France opposes any unilateral move, including the so-called referendum, that is designed to change the status quo and heighten the tensions across the Taiwan Strait and lead to the independence of Taiwan, it said.

The French government maintains that the Taiwan issue should be resolved peacefully through constructive dialogues which should serve as the foundation for ties across the Taiwan Strait so as tonsure stability and prosperity in the region, said the declaration.

Hu arrived in Paris Monday for a three-day state visit, which coincides with the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and France.

France is the first leg of Hu's four-nation tour, which will also take him to Egypt, Gabon and Algeria.

Sino-French cooperation has great potential, broad prospects: Hu

Visiting Chinese President Hu Jintao said Tuesday that he and his French counterpart, Jacques Chirac, agreed that Sino-French cooperation has great potential and broad prospects.

Speaking at a joint press conference held after talks with Chirac, Hu said he had exchanged in-depth views with Chirac during their talks on major regional and international issues and they reached consensus on a wide range of issues.

And they also agreed that in such a complicated international situation, China and France should intensify coordination and cooperation to meet the challenges and contribute to the realization of lasting world peace and common prosperity, Hu said.

Hu also said the Sino-French relations have been consolidated and deepened in various aspects due to the joint efforts of their leaders since the two countries established diplomatic ties 40 years ago.

President Hu is in France on a three-day state visit.

(Xinhua News Agency January 27, 2004)

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