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Vice-premier Calls for Furthering Sino-French Cooperation
China is willing to join hands with France to consolidate and expand the all-around partnership between the two countries, said Vice-Premier Wen Jiabao in Beijing on Thursday.

Wen made the remarks during his meeting with French Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin, who arrived in Beijing Thursday for a two-day visit as guest of his Chinese counterpart, Tang Jiaxuan.

Wen gave a positive appraisal of the development of Sino-French ties, which have seen marked expansion. The two sides have effectively consulted and coordinated with each other on international affairs.

China appreciates France's efforts in promoting the integration of the European Union (EU), the vice-premier said.

He called on France and the EU to play a more active role in promoting the democratization of international relations, and advancing cooperation based on equality and mutual benefit between developed and developing nations and promoting world stability and development.

Dominique de Villepin agreed with Wen's views on bilateral ties, saying that France values its ties with China and is ready to enrich and consolidate the partnership in various fields, such as politics and economic cooperation.

The French FM also said that France will do its best to boost ties between the EU and China.

Chinese Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan, who had previously held talks with Dominique de Villepin on bilateral relations, the Iraq issue and the nuclear issue in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, was also in attendance.

(Xinhua News Agency January 10, 2003)

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