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President Hu Meets with French Defense Minister
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Meeting with French Defense Minister Michele Alliot-Marie on Monday, Chinese President Hu Jintao on Monday praised China's strategic dialogue and political trust with France, pledging to deepen them and take the bilateral comprehensive strategic partnership to new heights.


Hu further lauded bilateral military relations and appreciated France's adherence to the one-China policy.


China and France, as globally important and influential nations, share perspectives on some major international issues, with similar interests and shoulder common responsibilities, said Hu, who is also Chairman of China's Central Military Commission (CMC).


Hu added that China will further seek to implement cooperative documents concerning bilateral relations, said Hu.


Alliot-Marie, spending two days in Beijing on the last leg of her northeast Asian tour also met with Guo Boxiong, Vice-Chairman of the CMC, on Monday afternoon.


Alliot-Marie echoed Hu's sentiment, addressing the deep and effective strategic dialogue enjoyed by both countries in various fields including defense and adding that France sees China's active role in international affairs as greatly important.


On Sunday, Alliot-Marie met with her Chinese counterpart Cao Gangchuan. She received a briefing on China's national defense policy and military construction, with Cao highlighting its peaceful and unthreatening purposes.


Alliot-Marie supports lifting the EU ban on arms exports to China, labeling it "nothing but a political and psychological thing," in Tokyo last Friday.


Should the arms embargo not be lifted, China-EU relations could be harmed, said Alliot-Marie, calling for ban's rapid relaxation.


(Xinhua News Agency March 20, 2007)

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