Monday, February 8, 2010

Good friends again

A year back, Beijing was furious with President Sarkozy who had dared to meet the Dalai Lama (not even in France) against their approval. The spokesperson thundered, threatened, some Carrefour supermarkets were even attacked, today China's Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi proudly announced “we are delighted that the French leader [Sarkozy] would visit [China] in April or May …it is a new page in Sino-French relations”.

French President meets Chinese FM on ties 

PARIS, Feb. 4 (Xinhua) -- French President Nicolas Sarkozy met visiting Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi at Elysee Palace Thursday on bilateral ties.
Bringing New Year's greetings on behalf of Chinese President Hu Jintao to Sarkozy, Yang recalled recent sound developments in the bilateral relationship.
He noted that there have been two successful meetings between Presidents Hu and Sarkozy in London and New York since last year. During the meetings, the two leaders reached important consensus, providing guidance for the direction of bilateral ties.
The later visits of French National Assembly Speaker Bernard Accoyer and Prime Minister Francois Fillon were fruitful, which vigorously enhanced mutual political trust and pragmatic cooperation in various areas, Yang said, adding that the momentum for China-France ties has been accelerated.
The Chinese minister noted that France was an influential country in the world, and China always attaches great importance to its ties with France.
China is willing to work with France to intensify high-level visits, deepen mutual political trust, adhere to the principles of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit, take care of each other's major concerns, and expand pragmatic cooperation in economy and trade, Yang said.
He said China is also willing to increase negotiation and coordination with France on major international and regional issues, and enhance the strategic significance of the bilateral ties, so as to promote progress of the China-France relationship.
Welcoming Yang's visit and asking him to bring greetings to President Hu, Sarkozy noted the current state of France-China relations is sound.
He said France always attaches great importance to relations with China, and highly appreciates the progress China has achieved and the role China has played in international affairs, hoping to further enhance bilateral cooperation in climate change and international finance.
The president reaffirmed France's firm adherence to the one-China policy.
Sarkozy said he is looking forward to attending the Shanghai World Expo, and he believes this event would be as splendid and impressive as the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.
Previously, Yang met with his French counterpart Bernard Kouchner on Wednesday during his two-day visit to France, which is the third leg of his five-nation tour.
He has already visited Britain and Turkey, and will attend a security policy conference in Munich, Germany, from Feb. 5-7.

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