Chinese President Xi Jinping (2nd L) and his wife Peng Liyuan (1st L) pose for a group photo with French President Emmanuel Macron (2nd R) and his wife Brigitte Macron in the southern French city of Nice on March 24, 2019. Xi met with Macron in Nice on Sunday. (Xinhua/Xie Huanchi)
Chinese President Xi Jinping on Sunday stressed the importance of maintaining a sound China-France relationship to both countries' long-term development and its potential impact on the world.
Xi, who is paying a state visit to France, made the remarks when meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron in the southern French city of Nice.
Recalling the history of friendly exchanges between China and France, Xi noted that France is the first major Western country to establish official diplomatic relations with the People's Republic of China (PRC).
He pointed to the special significance of his visit, which came at a special year that marks both the 70th anniversary of the founding of the PRC and the 55th anniversary of the establishment of China-France diplomatic relations.
"The history of China-France cooperation shows that bilateral ties are not 'a zero-sum game.' The strong complementarity between the two economies will remain for a long time," Xi said, adding that China's sustained development and further opening-up will create a host of new opportunities as well as broader space for bilateral cooperation.
Xi called on the two countries to constantly explore new fields of cooperation, nurture new growth areas for cooperation, and speed up the implementation of the Belt and Road and third-party cooperation projects that have been agreed upon.
For his part, Macron said France pays high attention to the Belt and Road Initiative, regards China as an important strategic cooperation partner, and appreciates China's important role in and contribution to climate change and other international affairs.
France is the last leg of Xi's three-nation Europe tour that has taken him to Italy and Monaco.