French President Nicolas Sarkozy, in an interview with Xinhua
Friday, called for the strengthening of China-France and
China-European Union (EU) ties in addition to commenting on
The France-China all-round strategic partnership, which is based
on cooperation and mutual trust, is an extremely important
foundation stone of the French foreign policy, Sarkozy said.
The partnership should cover cooperation in all fields such as
economy, science, technology and culture, he added.
Sarkozy is to begin a state visit to China Sunday, his first one
to the country after he was sworn in as president this May.
"China is the first Asian country that I would visit after I was
elected as president," Sarkozy said, reiterating France's support
to the one-China policy.
France is confident that China would develop soundly, and France
thinks this is a chance both for China itself and the world, he
The French president said France and China have the common
wishes for peace, prosperity and harmony.
"So, I would like to work together with Chinese President Hu Jintao. We would have many topics of mutual
concern like the environment, economic and trade relations and how
the two countries can make bigger contributions to the world's
security," he said.
Sarkozy attached importance to the strengthening of China-France
economic and trade ties, saying mutual benefit and cooperation
should be the core of the ties.
"I hope the France-China partnership will continue in this
direction to push forward its development. We should strengthen
already implemented cooperation projects such as those in nuclear
energy, aviation and railways," he said.
He said one important task now is to encourage enterprises in
the two countries to work together.
First of all, big enterprises should cooperate, but medium and
small enterprises with state-of-the-art technologies also should
work together, he added.
Sarkozy said China-EU relations have developed rapidly and
should aim to further develop the all-round strategic
Noting that the European Union has become China's largest trade
partner, the French president urged both sides to further expand
Both sides have launched negotiations on reaching a new deal
aimed at enhancing bilateral cooperation in various fields, Sarkozy
France, which is going to take the rotating EU presidency in
2008, aims to make 2008 a big year in both EU-China and EU-Asia
Referring to international relations, Sarkozy said France and
China shoulder the responsibility and obligation to surpass
immediate interests and work for peace and security as both are
permanent members of the UN Security Council.
"We should make concerted joint efforts in tackling crises," he
Facing the challenges of today's world, France shares with China
an identical wish for peace, prosperity and harmony, he said.
Sarkozy appreciated China's active involvement in tackling some
major international issues, calling China's participation in
seeking the settlement of the issues of the denuclearization of the
Korean Peninsula, Myanmar and Iran as a full reflection of China's
On the Iran nuclear issue, Sarkozy said his country
is determined to work with China to implement the policy agreed by
Germany and the permanent members of the U.N. Security Council --
China, the United States, Britain, France and Russia.
If Iran decides to meet its obligations, the door remains open
for Iran to solve the nuclear issue, he said, suggesting Tehran
choose cooperation and peace in settling the issue, Sarkozy
(Xinhua News Agency November 24, 2007)