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President Hu: China values ties with France
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President Hu Jintao said in Beijing Thursday that China has always valued the Sino-French relationship and is regretful to see events that hurt Chinese feelings.

China sticks to the policy of Sino-French friendship, all-round cooperation and common development, Hu told visiting French Senate President Christian Poncelet in a meeting.

Chinese President Hu Jintao meets with visiting French Senate President Christian Poncelet in Beijing, April 24, 2008.

A series of events that were unfriendly to Chinese occurred in France recently, especially the disruption of the Beijing Olympic torch relay in Paris. Such events hurt the Chinese people's feelings, Hu said.

"These are what we do not want to see," he told Poncelet.

Hu stressed China hopes the French side could face squarely the current problems and work with the Chinese side to eliminate disturbance and properly handle the new situation and new problems of the bilateral ties.

He called for both sides to make joint efforts to push forward the healthy and stable development of the comprehensive strategic partnership.

Poncelet said he felt sad and regretful for the disturbance of the Beijing Olympic torch relay in Paris, and expressed again the sincere sympathy of his government to the disabled Chinese torch bearer Jin Jing, who was attacked during the torch relay in Paris.

He said the French side fully understood and respected Chinese people's feelings, opposed the linking of sports with politics, and gave his best wishes and support to the Beijing Olympics.

Poncelet is paying his third China trip as French Senate President from April 21 to 27 at the invitation of top legislator Wu Bangguo.

He made a special visit to Jin Jing upon his arrival in Shanghai on Monday, conveying French President Nicolas Sarkozy's sympathy note to the female wheelchair-bound fencer.

Speaking highly of the important contribution Poncelet had made to the Sino-French relationship, Hu said bilateral ties have developed in a comprehensive way since the two first forged diplomatic ties 44 years ago.

Chinese President Hu Jintao meets with visiting French Senate President Christian Poncelet in Beijing, April 24, 2008.

The two sides have kept frequent exchanges on various levels, with economic and trade cooperation expanding, Hu said, hailing both had maintained close consultation on international and regional issues.

China appreciates France's adherence to the one-China policy on Taiwan and Tibet issues, Hu said.

Poncelet said history has proved French people nourish deep and special feelings toward Chinese people and the French government cherishes the strategic ties with China.

It is the common aspiration of the French government, parliament and people to enhance relations with China, Poncelet told Hu, adding the stance has never changed.

Poncelet said all the previous and current French governments respected China's sovereignty and territorial integrity, holding that Tibet and Taiwan are inalienable parts of China, and the affairs of Taiwan and Tibet belong to China's internal affairs.

Also on Thursday, Poncelet met with Wang Jiarui, head of the International Department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China.

Besides Poncelet, former French Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin arrived in Beijing on Thursday for a four-day visit.

Another senior French official, Jean-David Levitte, a diplomatic adviser of Sarkozy, will visit China from April 26 to 27 to hold an unofficial consultation about the Sino-French strategic dialogue with Chinese State Councilor Dai Bingguo.

(Xinhua News Agency April 25, 2008)

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