Ahead of French Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Catherine Colonna's first visit to China since taking office, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson said on Wednesday that China looks forward to working together with France to deepen exchanges and cooperation in various sectors, including education, culture and sports, promoting mutual learning and enhancing people-to-people connectivity, pushing forward new developments in China-France relations.
Colonna will visit China from Thursday to Friday at the invitation of Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, also a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee.
During Colonna's visit, Premier Li Qiang will meet with her; she and Wang Yi will hold the 6th meeting of the China-France high-level dialogue mechanism on people-to-people exchanges and attend the side events, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning announced on Wednesday.
It is Colonna's first visit to China since taking office. This will also be the first time for China to hold a meeting of dialogue mechanism on people-to-people exchanges with an European country in recent years, Mao noted.
The spokesperson said that China and France are both permanent members of the UN Security Council and independent major countries. At present, under the joint leadership of the two heads of state, bilateral relations have enjoyed sound growth.
The two sides have had frequent high-level exchanges, made steady progress in exchanges and cooperation in various fields and maintained sound multilateral communication and coordination. Our two countries have also worked together to respond to global challenges.
China and European countries, including France, are set to enhance communication and strengthen cooperation. Experts noted that the recent San Francisco summit has helped ease tensions between China and the US to a certain degree. This development has created opportunities for Europe to adopt a more pragmatic approach in developing relations with China.
Next year marks the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and France. It is also the China-France Year of Culture and Tourism. The two sides are planning a series of relevant activities, according to the spokesperson.
Chinese President Xi Jinping on Monday called on his French counterpart, Emmanuel Macron, to carry forward the traditional China-France friendship and push relations to a new level during a phone conversation between the two leaders.
During the conversation, Xi pointed out that since Macron's successful visit to China in April this year, China-France exchanges at all levels have resumed rapidly, and bilateral cooperation in various fields has made solid progress and achieved fruitful results.