Chinese President Hu Jintao on Wednesday visited City Hall of Paris and made a speech on Sino-French friendship there.
After a warm ceremony by the municipal government, Deputy Mayor Anne Hidalgo, on behalf of all Parisians, made a speech to welcome Hu's visit.
Hidalgo briefed the Chinese guest on the history of the renowned City Hall and major activities on the Chinese culture held here in recent years. She hoped that the friendship and cooperation between Paris and Beijing will flourish, the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games will be a success, and good relationship and exchanges between the French people and the Chinese people will further develop.
In his speech, Hu said that Paris is a historic city with profound cultural legacy and the city has made remarkable contribution to human civilization and progress.
Hu noted that Paris has witnessed the glory of the French people and the friendship between the two peoples, adding that Paris has become the window of friendly exchanges since China and France established diplomatic ties in 1964.
The ties between Paris and Beijing have developed vigorously since the two became sister cities and the Chinese Cultural Year events unveiled last Autumn have received extensive cooperation and support from the municipal government and Parisians, said the Chinese president.
He said in the current complex international situation, China and France should further widen and deepen the comprehensive strategic partnership and be committed to mutual trust in politics, stronger economic cooperation and more cultural exchanges so as to push the relationship to a new high.
Chinese State Councilor Tang Jiaxuan and Francois Loos, French minister delegate in charge of the foreign trade in the ministry of economy, finances and industry also attended the ceremony.
(Xinhua News Agency January 29, 2004)