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China, France Vow to Boost Partnership

French President Jacques Chirac and visiting senior official of the Communist Party of China (CPC), Li Changchun, have vowed to join hands to boost the all-around strategic partnership between the two countries.

China and France share same or similar stand on major international issues and the common interests have laid a solid foundation for the sound development of Sino-French ties in various fields, said Li, member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, during a meeting with Chirac on Saturday.

China is willing to make concerted efforts with France to push the Sino-French all-around strategic partnership to a new high, Li said.

Chirac noted that in recent years, the political relationship between France and China has become increasingly closer, the economic cooperation has developed smoothly, and the scientific exchanges have yielded fruits.

"All these have created favorable conditions for the deepening of bilateral cooperation and exchanges," he said.

Chirac also hailed the cooperation between France and China within the framework of the United Nations.

Both sides spoke highly of the bilateral cultural exchanges.

Chirac said the "Chinese Culture Year in France," a nine-month culture-promotion fair held across France since last October, is a big success as a result of the increasingly closer cultural exchanges between the two nations.

"The excellent France-China political relations have provided profound basis for the prosperous bilateral cultural exchanges, which have, in return, facilitated the all-around development of bilateral ties," he said.

Li expressed his thanks for the French side's support to the "Chinese Culture Year in France," adding that China will give its full support to ensure the "French Culture Year in China," to be held in China this October, a success.

Since last October, some 370 events introducing the Chinese culture, such as exhibitions and concerts, have been staged across France. 

On Friday night, Li attended the closing ceremony for the "Chinese Culture Year in France" at the Chateau de Versaille in Paris.

Li arrived in Paris Thursday on a four-day good-will visit to France.  

France is the last leg of Li's four-nation tour, which has taken him to Kazakhstan, Ukraine and Greece.


(Xinhua News Agency July 4, 2004)

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