French President Jacques Chirac arrived in Shanghai Monday morning from Beijing to continue his state visit to China.
Chirac met with Chen Liangyu, secretary of the Shanghai Municipal Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC), and Shanghai Mayor Han Zheng.
The French president noted that great changes had taken place in Shanghai since his visit seven years ago. France is looking forward to full participation in the Shanghai World Expo 2010.
Chirac said that many French enterprises have established sound cooperative ties with their counterparts in Shanghai and are strengthening cooperation in a variety of sectors, including transportation, sewage and water treatment, and petrochemicals.
Chen Liangyu, also a member of the Politburo of the CPC Central Committee, briefed the French guests on Shanghai's economic and social development in recent years and the preparations for the World Expo. He stated that he hoped France would grasp the opportunity of the Expo to lift economic and trade cooperation between the two countries to new heights.
Chirac gave a 30-minute speech to more than 400 students at the prestigious Tongji University, saying that cooperative relations between France and China will serve the world in the future. He said that France and China share hopes for a just and peaceful world, stable economic development and comfortable lives for their people.
He also encouraged more students to go to France to study, saying that the 7,000 to 8,000 student visas currently issued every year are far from enough. Several French companies have indicated an interest in developing scholarship programs for Chinese students.
Before his speech, Chirac joined Tongji's President Wan Gang in unveiling the cornerstone for the China-France Center for Science, Technology and Innovation at the university.
He also attended the opening of the Pasteur Institute of Shanghai, which was established to promote Sino-French cooperation in the prevention and treatment of epidemic diseases.
Joint science and technology projects have reached their highest level in human genome research, superconductor materials, information technology and applied mathematics, said the French leader.
Shanghai is Chirac's third stop on the China tour, following Chengdu and Beijing. He is leaving Shanghai for Hong Kong on Tuesday.
(China Daily, China.org.cn October 12, 2004)