China and France signed new agreements in the fields of nuclear energy and aerospace exploration as part of a visit to Beijing by French Prime Minister Bernard Cazeneuve, with both sides also promising increased trade opportunities.
Following a meeting with his French counterpart in Beijing, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang has focused on the importance of enhancing bilateral ties, especially amid a backdrop of rising protectionism in parts of the world.
“It’s necessary for China and France to deepen strategic coordination and work together to cope with unpredictability in the future. It’s important to send out a positive and stable signal to the global markets,” Li said.
Li Keqiang said China is willing to work with France to deepen cooperation through the entire nuclear energy industrial chain.
He also noted that the two sides hope their joint work on the Hinkley Point nuclear power plant in the UK will progress smoothly.
Li suggested the two sides explore cooperation in civil aviation and space exploration, as well as speeding up the eco-city project they are working on together in Hubei’s capital, Wuhan.
The Chinese premier suggested the level of cooperation between China and France should be viewed as a model for other countries to consider when formulating their respective bilateral relationships.
“We are always communicating and negotiating with the French side on a fair basis. Our in-depth talks this time are part of an effort to mutually expand opening-up for the other side and improve investment and trade environment,” Li added.
For his part, Cazeneuve stressed that France opposes trade protectionism and would like to further promote the development and prosperity of the two countries.
He pointed out that he is optimistic about the prospects of working together with China on nuclear power projects in other third countries.
“China and France have been working together to explore third markets. We have chosen some cooperation projects, including a trash incinerator in Phnom Penh of Cambodia and a hydropower station in
Namibia. Both projects have gained support from their countries and are built to meet green standards,” Cazeneuve noted.
Cazeneuve is due to visit Wuhan, where French carmakers PSA and Renault have factories. – CRI
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