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France urged to 'make concrete efforts' to mend bilateral ties
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China on Thursday urged France to take concrete measures to tackle the current difficulties in bilateral relations, saying that improvement of these ties mainly depends on France.

"China-France relations are important two-way relations, which China always views and deals with from a strategic and long-term perspective," Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao told reporters in Beijing.

"China has repeatedly expressed its position on the planned meeting between French President Nicolas Sarkozy and the Dalai Lama, and France is quite aware of that," Liu said.

To mend ties, push forward China-EU relations and help resume the Sino-EU summit, France should take China's position and concerns into consideration and take proper action, Liu said.

Last week, China decided to put off the 11th China-European Union Summit, scheduled for early December in France. The decision came after Sarkozy, whose country holds the EU's rotating presidency, insisted on meeting with the Dalai Lama after the summit.

"The French state leader's insistence on meeting the Dalai Lama has triggered strong dissatisfaction among Chinese people. We hope the French side will heed the voices of the Chinese people, and we also hope that the Chinese people will look at Sino-French ties with a cool-minded, reasonable attitude," Liu said.

Referring to economic and trade cooperation, the spokesman said that cooperation should be based on mutual benefits.

(Xinhua News Agency December 4, 2008)

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