Though Sino-French relations were rocky in the first half of this year, "we have been solid friends for many years - the fundamentals of the relationship between our two countries are excellent and solid," Herve Ladsous, the French ambassador to China, said in a recent interview with China Daily.
"We want to continue building relations on the basis of respect," he said.
Chinese President Hu Jintao shakes hands with French President Nicolas Sarkozy on the sidelines of the G8 summit in Japan last week. Sarkozy told Hu he would attend the opening of the summer Games in his capacity as French leader and rotating president of the European Union.
Even though "some undeserved difficulties arose in Sino-French relations", the ambassador remains optimistic. "We should look at bilateral relations from a historic standpoint. I hope they can get back on track soon."
The ambassador said he feels welcome where ever he goes in China. After previous visits, it was his "long dream to return back to China". His job is exciting but busy - allowing him to indulge his hobby of fishing only a couple of times over the 18 months he has been stationed in China.
France was one of the first countries to respond to the Wenchuan earthquake on May 12. The French government and companies offered tents, household items, medical equipments and other supplies.
French nationals also donated money and blood to help, Ladsous said.