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Sino-French ties developing more strategic nature
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The relationship between France and China was becoming more strategic in its nature as the world underwent tremendous changes, particularly during the ongoing global downturn, a senior Chinese official said Tuesday.

Chinese State Councilor Dai Bingguo was meeting in Beijing with Jean-David Levitte, a diplomatic adviser to French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

The two countries should carry out consensus reached by their leaders, firmly hold to a correct orientation for the development of their relationship, and keep commitments made to each other, so as to realize sound and stable development of bilateral relations, Dai said.

With the two countries' joint efforts, the bilateral relationship some time ago had returned to the track of recovery and development, he said.

Relations deteriorated last December when Sarkozy met the Dalai Lama in Poland.

China and France later issued a joint press communique in April, which said "France refuses to support any form of 'Tibet independence'".

Historical experience proved as long as the two nations could view the relationship from a strategic and long-term perspective, strengthen mutual political trust, properly handle differences and conflicts in line with principles of mutual respect and equality, and respect and accommodate each other's concerns, the relationship would develop soundly, said Dai.

Levitte, who began his visit to China Tuesday, said France attached great importance to China and France's comprehensive strategic partnership.

"France respects China's core interests and concerns," he said.

He said France hoped bilateral ties would be safeguarded and developed rapidly.

France was ready to work with China to enhance high-level exchanges, cement mutual political trust, actively carry out strategic bilateral dialogue and facilitate bilateral practical cooperation, Levitte said.

Levitte also said China now had a critical role in the international community, saying it had taken "rapid, effective, and wise" measures to tackle the global financial crisis.

He said the world was now in the most important and sensitive times since the post-Cold War period, and China's development was "conducive to the world's development."

During his stay in China, Levitte is also scheduled to meet with Chinese Vice Premier Wang Qishan. He will wrap up his visit Thursday.

(Xinhua News Agency September 2, 2009)

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