Several qualities of the dog, including sincerity, valor, vitality, loyalty, pragmatism and responsibility, are the bedrock of China-France relations, said Francois de Rugy, president of the National Assembly of France, on Monday.
He made the remarks at a ceremony to celebrate the Chinese Lunar New Year held in Hotel de Lassay, his official residence in Paris, as 2018 marks the Year of the Dog in traditional Chinese culture.
On sincerity, "the celebration of the Chinese New Year in this emblematic place in the history of France testifies to the mutual admiration and friendship that bind our two nations," de Rugy said at the ceremony.
Through exchanges between the legislative bodies of the two countries since he took office, this sincere friendship has been "maintained and fortified," he added.
Valor and vitality in China-France relations are manifested in the intensification of bilateral trade, and also in the strengthening of joint action for ecological transition, sustainable development, the fight against climate change, as well as the multiplication of partnerships between communities, de Rugy said.
Referring to pragmatism, de Rugy said differences exist between France and China as with other countries, and they "should not, however, be an obstacle to the pursuit of fruitful relations in all fields, while respecting the values and mutual interests, and with the desire to develop multilateralism at the international level."
De Rugy also called for China, France and Europe to "act together, within the framework of multilateralism."
"Xin nian kuai le (Happy New Year)!" de Rugy said, expressing his wishes in Chinese at the end of his speech.
On the same occasion, Chinese Ambassador to France Zhai Jun expressed his appreciation for the continuity of exchanges between the legislative bodies of China and France since the inauguration of de Rugy in June last year, adding that China and France will especially strengthen exchanges between young Chinese and French deputies this year.