Xi says visit to France has special meaning

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Chinese President Xi Jinping delivers a speech at a gathering marking the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the diplomatic relations between China and France, in Paris, capital of France, March 27, 2014. [Xinhua]

Chinese President Xi Jinping said Thursday night that upon the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and France, his current state visit to France has special meaning.

Xi made the remarks in a second meeting with his French counterpart Francois Hollande. The two heads of state exchanged views on bilateral ties and issues of common concern.

Xi noted that in their first meeting on Wednesday, he and Hollande comprehensively summed up the successful experience of the bilateral ties and planned for the future development of China-France relations.

They jointly decided to steer the China-France relationship into a new era of close and lasting comprehensive strategic partnership. The move, said Xi, charted out the general direction, set down new goals and opened up good prospects for the future development of bilateral ties.

Hollande, for his part, noted that Xi's current visit has been a complete success with fruitful results, adding that he, from the talks with Xi, deeply felt that China is a peace-loving country and that the Chinese people are sticking to the path chosen by themselves and have scored significant achievements.

Noting that France and China share similar views on major issues, Hollande expressed his willingness to maintain close communication and exchanges with the Chinese president, so as to jointly push forward bilateral cooperation.

France will continue to stick to the stand of respecting China's sovereignty and territorial integrity on the issues related to Taiwan and Tibet, said the French president.

The two sides also exchanged views on governance experience and ideas of reform and development.

Before their Thursday talks, Xi visited the office which was once used by General Charles de Gaulle.

Noting that the historic contribution made by General Charles de Gaulle to China-France ties should always be remembered, Xi called on Beijing and Paris to further boost bilateral ties in the new situation with far-sightedness.

France is the second leg of Xi's ongoing Europe trip, which will also take him to Germany and Belgium. Before France, Xi visited the Netherlands and attended the third Nuclear Security Summit in The Hague.

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