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Xi Jinping Attends and Addresses the Closing Ceremony of the Fifth Meeting of the China-France Business Council

2023-04-06 23:55

On the afternoon of April 6, 2023, President Xi Jinping and French President Emmanuel Macron jointly attended and addressed the closing ceremony of the fifth meeting of the China-France Business Council in Beijing.

Noting the profound and complex changes in the world, Xi Jinping pointed out that China and France, in the face of difficulties and challenges, have upheld true multilateralism and kept to the right direction of free trade and economic globalization, significantly enhancing the resilience and vitality of bilateral economic and trade cooperation. The two-way trade volume and mutual direct investment have grown steadily, cooperation on large projects has further deepened, and cooperation in the emerging areas such as green consumption, green energy and scientific and technological innovation has continuously expanded.

Business cooperation between China and France has not only boosted the economic development and improved people's well-being of the two countries, but also helped foster greater confidence in and stabilized the expectation of the world economic recovery. Now, with China's economic and social vitality fully unleashed and China-France and China-EU dialogues and cooperation in various fields activated, the two sides should seize the opportunity to strengthen cooperation and jointly create a better future.

The two sides need to uphold openness and inclusiveness to deepen bilateral cooperation for mutual benefit. China will accelerate the development of its domestic market, while vigorously advancing high-standard opening up, and steadily expanding institutional opening up in terms of rules, regulations, management and standards. China stands ready to share with France and other countries in the world the new opportunities presented by Chinese modernization. China supports French enterprises’ efforts in playing a greater role in Chinese market by making effective use of such major opening-up platforms as the China International Import Expo, China International Fair for Trade in Services, and China International Consumer Products Expo. Efforts should also be made to deepen mutually beneficial cooperation in fields like green development, digital economy and innovation.

The two sides need to uphold the principle of independence and safeguard the common interests of China and the EU. China and the EU, as two major forces in building a multipolar world, share broad strategic consensus and converging interests, and enjoy a solid foundation for cooperation. China-EU cooperation has direct bearing on the prosperity of the Eurasian continent and the stability of the international landscape. China will continue to view and develop China-EU relations from a strategic and long-term perspective, support the European integration and back the unity and prosperity of the EU. China hopes that the EU will take an objective and right perception of China and stay committed to the China-EU comprehensive strategic partnership. Xi Jinping stressed that no one will emerge as a winner in a zero-sum game; practices of decoupling and severing supply chains cannot hold back China's development process. China is ready to work with the EU to strengthen macro-policy coordination, oppose politicizing and weaponizing economic, trade, and scientific and technological exchanges, jointly keep industrial and supply chains secure and stable, and create a favorable environment for cooperation.

The two sides need to uphold solidarity and coordination and promote common development across the globe. At present, human society is facing unprecedented common challenges, and strengthening solidarity and coordination is the only way out. Xi Jinping noted that he has put forward the initiative of building a human community with a shared future, the Belt and Road Initiative, the Global Development Initiative, the Global Security Initiative and the Global Civilization Initiative in the hope of replacing division with unity, confrontation with cooperation, and exclusion with inclusiveness, and jointly building an open, inclusive, clean and beautiful world that enjoys enduring peace, universal security and common prosperity. Noting that China will host the third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation this year, Xi Jinping said China looks forward to working with France and other parties to deepen bilateral and third-party market cooperation within the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative, and promote common development across the globe in line with the principle of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits.

Xi Jinping recalled that in 2014 when the two countries marked the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties, he summarized the founding spirit of China-France diplomatic relations as "independence, mutual understanding, foresight, mutual benefit and win-win outcomes". Guided by this spirit, China-France relations have been a pacesetter in China's relations with major western countries. Next year marks the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and France. In the face of the volatile international situation and the risks and challenges in the post-pandemic era, it is all the more important that the two sides uphold and carry forward the founding spirit of their diplomatic relations, and forge ahead against all odds to achieve steady and sustained development of bilateral relations. Xi Jinping expressed the hope that friends from the Chinese and French business communities will move forward hand in hand to jointly write a new chapter of China-France economic and trade cooperation and bring more benefits to the two peoples.

Macron said that the signing of a series of important bilateral agreements that he and President Xi Jinping just witnessed has demonstrated the joint ambition of France and China to deepen mutually beneficial cooperation, as well as their shared responsibility to address global challenges. Macron stressed that cooperation is not a one-way street. Instead, it should be mutually beneficial. A true friendship is one that can stand up to the test. France opposes decoupling and severing supply chains, and hopes to build more stable and open supply chains. France is ready to work with China to uphold the principle of mutual respect, engage in sincere dialogue while accommodating differences, encourage openness and innovation, and jointly deepen France-China comprehensive strategic partnership, to promote sustained and important progress in bilateral cooperation in various fields.

In the evening, Xi Jinping hosted a welcome banquet for Macron at the Golden Hall of the Great Hall of the People.

Wang Yi and Qin Gang, among others, were present at the events.

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