|Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) shakes hands with French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius during their meeting at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China, Feb. 21, 2014. (Xinhua/Ding Lin)|
BEIJING, Feb. 21 -- Chinese President Xi Jinping met French Foreign Affairs Minister Laurent Fabius on Friday, pledging closer bilateral relations as the two countries celebrate 50th anniversary of diplomatic ties this year.
Fabius first conveyed French President Francois Hollande's expectation for President Xi's upcoming visit to France.
Xi said he attached great importance to the China-France ties, looking forward to meeting with Hollande in the near future.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and France, and the tenth anniversary of forging comprehensive strategic partnership, said Xi.
The strategic decision made by Chairman Mao Zedong and General Charles de Gaulle fifty years ago shows the great wisdom of both leaders and laid a sound foundation for bilateral friendship. China-France ties lead the development of relations between China and Western countries, he said.
"During President Hollande's visit to China last year, we decided to hold a series of commemorative activities this year, " said Xi.
He called on both countries to summarize and learn from the successful experience and rules of the development of China-France ties so as to forge ahead with the ties in the new era.
He also suggested both countries enhance strategic communication, tangible cooperation and people-to-people exchange, as well as coordination in the international and regional affairs in the hope of addressing global challenges and safeguarding world peace and stability.
Echoing Xi's remarks, Fabius said France and China share common views on many major issues.
France appreciated China's important role in the international arena, said Fabius.
France would like to work with China to boost political mutual trust, expand cooperation in the areas of economic and trade, science and technology, culture and climate change, and intensify communication in the international affairs, he said.
France was the first major Western power to establish official diplomatic relations with the People's Republic of China, which was founded in 1949.
The two countries established ambassador-level diplomatic ties in 1964, a groundbreaking move that overcame the siege mentality of the Cold War.