President Xi Jinping meets with French President Emmanuel Macron in Nice, France March 24, 2019.(Photo/Xinhua)
China and France signed multibillion-dollar deals during President Xi Jinping's state visit as the two heads of state agreed to forge a more solid, stable and vibrant comprehensive strategic partnership.
Xi and his French counterpart, Emmanuel Macron, witnessed the signing of 14 cooperation documents at the Elysee Palace in Paris on Monday, which include the purchase of 300 Airbus aircraft worth $35 billion.
Speaking at a joint news conference with the French president after the signing ceremony, Xi said he and Macron agreed to boost mutual political trust, respect each other's core interests and major concerns, and contribute more positive energy to global peace, stability and prosperity.
He told reporters that the two countries agreed to advance the joint development of the Belt and Road Initiative and explore third-market cooperation.
China and France will deepen cooperation in strategic industries, including nuclear energy, aviation and aerospace, and the two sides will expand trade and investment, Xi said.
According to one of the documents signed on Monday, China agreed to lift an embargo of French poultry exports.
Noting China has newly approved its Foreign Investment Law, Xi told Macron during their talks that the country will continue to broaden market access, improve its business environment, strengthen intellectual property rights protections, and expand high-level opening-up.
China welcomes more French businesses to invest and develop in the country, and also hopes France offers fair, open and nondiscriminatory treatment of Chinese businesses that invest in France, Xi said.
He also called on the two countries to promote cooperation in culture, tourism, language and youth exchanges at the local level.
Xi said the two countries should strengthen cooperation under such multilateral frameworks as the United Nations and the G20. He urged the two sides to take practical action to uphold the basic norms governing international relations underpinned by the UN Charter and safeguard the multilateral trading system.
On the ties between China and the European Union, Xi said China has always considered deepening China-EU relations as a priority in its diplomatic agenda. He expressed hope that France would exert a more positive influence in pushing forward China-EU ties.
Xi also urged all parties to accelerate negotiations on a China-EU investment treaty, and initiate a joint feasibility study on a China-EU free trade agreement at an early date.
Macron pledged to boost cooperation with China in various fields and align France's Industry of the Future initiative with Made in China 2025.
He said his country stands ready to actively attend the second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation and the second China International Import Expo.