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Hu, Chirac Hold Talks

Chinese President Hu Jintao and French President Jacques Chirac held talks in the Great Hall of the People Saturday afternoon. The two presidents exchanged views on bilateral ties and international and regional issues of mutual concern.


The Chinese president said President Chirac was an old friend of the Chinese people, who has been promoting Sino-French friendship for years and made important contributions to the Sino-French comprehensive strategic partnership.


Hu said he believed this visit would help advance the Sino-French comprehensive strategic partnership.


Chirac said he was very glad to visit China again and was deeply impressed by the warm welcome to him in Chengdu, capital city of Sichuan Province and first leg of his China tour. He also spoke highly of the economic achievement in Sichuan.


Both sides agreed that the important consensus on deepening bilateral relations reached by the two leaders at the beginning of this year is being fulfilled and Sino-French relations manifest new vigor and energy.


The two leaders emphasized that the Sino-French Culture Year is a pioneering undertaking in the history of bilateral cultural exchanges and is expected to exert profound influences on development of bilateral relations.


Both sides also agreed to further promote and deepen bilateral exchanges and cooperation in various fields and lift to a higher level the Sino-French and Sino-European all-around strategic partnership relations.


Sino-French relations have proceeded smoothly over the past several years, and political trust and strategic cooperation have been strengthened, Hu said, noting that the trade cooperation between the two countries has seen new progress, with a drastic growth of bilateral trade volume. He added that the exchanges in other fields have achieved fruitful results and the cooperation in international and multilateral fields has also been effective.


"The Sino-French relations have entered a new stage of comprehensive and fast development," he said.


Hu raised a four-point proposal on promoting Sino-French ties during the talks. He suggested China and France enhance strategic dialogue and cooperation, enhance exchange between state leaders and forge a mechanism of annual meeting between state leaders of the two countries.


He proposed to strengthen Sino-French economic and trade ties through cooperation in aviation, space flight, transportation, nuclear energy, high-tech industry, small and medium-sized enterprises, agriculture and environmental protection.


Hu suggested that the two countries enhance exchange and cooperation in culture, education and science and technology, and explore new ways of cooperation in those areas by summing up experiences of the Chinese Culture Year in France and the French Year in China.


He also suggested that the two countries step up coordination and cooperation in international and regional issues, promoting democracy in international relations and diversity in mode of development.


Chirac said that France and China have advanced their cooperation in an all-round manner and scored encouraging results. The French government firmly supports the one-China principle and opposes any move that will lead to intensification of cross-Straits situation or Taiwan independence, he said.


Chirac said he completely agreed to Hu's four-point proposal on developing bilateral all-round strategic partnership relations. He said France is ready to make joint efforts with China for friendly cooperation in various fields.


Following their talks, the two presidents attended the signing ceremony on a batch of cooperative documents.


Chirac arrived in Beijing Saturday afternoon. Besides Chengdu and Beijing, he will also visit Shanghai and Hong Kong. He is to attend the opening ceremony of the French Culture Year in China.


(Xinhua News Agency October 10)

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Ministry of Foreign Affairs
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