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Xi Jinping Holds an Informal Meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron in Guangzhou

2023-04-07 23:55

On the afternoon of April 7, 2023, President Xi Jinping held an informal meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron at the Pine Garden in Guangzhou City of Guangdong Province.

Guangzhou in spring features gentle breezes and glorious sunshine, and abounds in flowers in full bloom. Located at the foot of Baiyun Mountain and by the lake, and decorated with delightful pavilions and waterfalls, the Pine Garden has a unique charm of its own.

Xi Jinping warmly welcomed Macron to Guangzhou and expressed his pleasure to meet and talk with him again.

The two heads of state strolled through the Pine Garden, chatting and stopping at times to enjoy the unique beauty of the southern Chinese garden.

Sitting by the water, the two heads of state enjoyed the view and discussed the past and present over tea.

Xi Jinping pointed out that to understand today's China, one must begin by understanding China's history. Guangzhou is the cradle of China's democratic revolution and the vanguard of China's reform and opening up. More than 1,000 years ago, Guangzhou was a starting point of the Maritime Silk Road. More than 100 years ago, it was here that China opened its door to modern progress. More than 40 years ago, it was also here that China started building and blazed a path of development for special economic zones. Now Guangzhou is actively advancing the development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, continuing to play its role as a bellwether and a locomotive for high-quality development.

Briefing Macron on the essential features and core elements of Chinese modernization, Xi Jinping stressed that China is advancing Chinese modernization on all fronts. It is a socialist modernization theory and practice with Chinese characteristics, which has gradually come into being through repeated reforms, opening up and innovative development endeavors. It conforms to the general laws of modernization and has unique characteristics of its own. China has full confidence in its future development, and welcomes France to continue to actively participate in the China Import and Export Fair, China International Import Expo, and China International Fair for Trade in Services, to further exploit the Chinese market.

Macron said true friendship means mutual understanding and mutual respect. France appreciates China's consistent support for France and Europe in maintaining autonomy and unity, and is ready to work with China to respect each other's core interests including sovereignty and territorial integrity, open markets to each other, and strengthen technological and industrial cooperation, as well as cooperation in artificial intelligence and other technologies, to help each other achieve development and prosperity.

Tracing the tuneful Guqin melody "Lofty Mountains and Flowing Streams", Xi Jinping and Macron stepped into the Baiyun Hall. Listening to the millennia-old masterpiece played on Guqin, a Chinese musical instrument dating back thousands of years, the two presidents savored the traditional Chinese tea and chatted about the rise and fall of powers over the past thousand years.

Xi Jinping invited Macron to dinner, and the two sides continued their in-depth exchange of views on the Ukraine crisis and other issues of mutual interest and concern.

Xi Jinping noted that the cause of the Ukraine crisis is complex and a prolonged crisis serves no one's interests. An early ceasefire will serve the interests of all parties concerned and also the whole world, and political settlement is the only right way out. China never handles the Ukraine issue out of selfish interests, but always stands for fairness and justice. All relevant parties should shoulder their responsibilities and work in the same direction to create enabling conditions for a political settlement. China welcomes France's concrete proposal for a political solution to the crisis, and is willing to support it and play a constructive role.

Macron said France also believes that a political settlement of the Ukraine crisis needs to take into account the legitimate concerns of all parties. France attaches great importance to China's international influence and is ready to maintain close communication and cooperation with China to facilitate an early political settlement of the crisis.

As the evening wore on, Xi Jinping and Macron bade farewell to each other.

Xi Jinping noted that the in-depth and high-quality exchanges he had with Macron in Beijing and Guangzhou over the two days have enhanced mutual understanding and mutual trust, and charted the course for future cooperation between the two countries on both bilateral and international levels. Xi Jinping said he is glad that they have the same or similar views on China-France relations, China-EU relations and many international and regional issues, which demonstrates the high level and strategic nature of China-France relations. Xi Jinping expressed readiness to maintain close strategic communication with Macron and to elevate the China-France comprehensive strategic partnership to a new height.

Macron thanked President Xi Jinping for the hospitality and elaborate arrangements for his visit. He said that their friendly and in-depth exchanges over the two days have enabled him to appreciate China's long history and splendid culture, and have a better understanding of the concepts of modern Chinese governance. The visit was successful and rewarding with fruitful outcomes, which will strongly boost France-China relations for greater development. Macron expressed readiness to continue to maintain close strategic communication with President Xi Jinping, and expected and welcomed President Xi Jinping to visit France again next year. 

The two sides issued a joint statement between China and France.

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

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