60 years ago today, China and France established diplomatic relations, making France the first major Western country to establish diplomatic ties with the People's Republic of China. Over the decades, the two sides have maintained close cooperation and exchanges in diplomatic ties, economy, and culture.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin revealed that there would be more events held in China and France amid celebrations of the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between the two nations.
During a daily news briefing on Wednesday, Wang highlighted the significance of the ongoing China-France Culture and Tourism Year, which was initiated during French President Emmanuel Macron's state visit to China in 2023.
"France is one of the countries with the longest histories of humanistic exchanges and the closest cooperation with China," Wang said Wednesday.
"It is also another key humanistic exchange project following the China-Frrance Year of Mutual Cultural Exchange between China and France from 2003 to 2005, and a series of activities to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and France in 2014."
The spokesperson elaborated on the various activities and events planned for the China-France Culture and Tourism Year.
Several high-profile events have been held, such as the Harbin Ice Festival and the Versailles music concert. These events are part of a series of initiatives aimed at fostering closer ties between the two countries' peoples, particularly the youth, Wang said.
A joint exhibition, the Versailles Palace and the Forbidden City, is scheduled to be held at the Palace Museum from April to June 2024.
As Paris is set to host the Paris 2024 Summer Olympics, a Chinese pavilion House is expected to be set up in Paris. Additionally, events related to the Chinese Lantern Festival, Tang Dynasty cultural relics, and Jingdezhen porcelain culture are expected to captivate audiences.
"China is willing to take the 2024 China-France Year of Culture and Tourism and the Paris Olympics as opportunities to carry out more exchanges and interactions with the French side, so as to enhance mutual understanding and affinity between the two countries," Wang said, before noting that China has implemented a 15-day visa-free entry policy for French visitors.