Remarks by H.E. Xi Jinping,
President of the People’s Republic of China
At the Joint Meeting with the Press with
H.E. Emmanuel Macron, President of the French Republic

Paris, May 6, 2024

Mr. President,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

It gives me great pleasure to pay another state visit to France at the invitation of President Macron as the two countries mark 60 years of diplomatic relations.

I had a productive meeting with President Macron just now. We agree that the China-France relationship has a precious history, unique values and an important mission. The two sides should carry forward the baton of history, champion the spirit that guided the establishment of diplomatic ties and enrich it with the features of the new era, and embark on a new journey for the next 60 years of China-France relations.

We have agreed on the following.

First, consolidating the strategic stability of bilateral relations. I welcome President Macron for another visit to China. The two sides have reiterated that they will respect each other’s core interests, and will timely conduct policy communication and coordination through multi-level, multi-dimensional channels.

Second, exploring the great potential for mutually beneficial cooperation. The two sides will strive for upward balance in bilateral trade. They will expand cooperation in agri-food, finance and other sections, and advance joint R&D and innovation in areas including aviation, aerospace and civil nuclear energy. They will connect their development strategies more closely, and expand cooperation in emerging areas such as green energy, smart manufacturing, bio-medicine, artificial intelligence and third-party markets. China has fully opened up its manufacturing sector, and will move faster to expand market access in the service sector such as telecommunication and medical services. The two sides encourage more two-way investment, and are committed to providing a sound business environment for companies from the other side. During this visit, the two sides signed 18 cooperation agreements between government agencies, covering such areas as aviation, agriculture, people-to-people exchange, green development and SME cooperation.

Third, accelerating people-to-people exchanges. The two sides will take the China-France Year of Culture and Tourism as an opportunity to promote educational, sports, film and TV, youth, and subnational cooperation. China supports France in hosting a great Paris 2024 Olympic Games. China welcomes more visitors from France. We have decided to extend the short-stay visa-exemption policy for citizens of 12 countries including France to the end of 2025. We support opening direct flights between Shanghai and Marseilles. China and France enjoy historical links in education. One hundred and fifty years ago, China opened its Fujian Naval Academy with the help of personages from France. Early last century, France hosted many young Chinese during the work-study movement. We welcome the participation of France as the country of honor in this year’s China Annual Conference and Expo for International Education. In the next three years, we want to bring the total number of French students in China to more than 10,000, and double the number of young Europeans on exchange programs to China.

Fourth, building greater consensus on global cooperation. The two sides will deepen cooperation on climate change, biodiversity and other issues, and enhance dialogue in the global governance of AI, reform of the international financial system and other fields. China supports France in hosting the 2025 U.N. Ocean Conference, and welcomes partnerships between our national parks and nature reserves.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The world is far from being tranquil. As a permanent member of the U.N. Security Council and a responsible major country, China is ready to work with France to advocate, on the occasion of the Paris Olympic Games, a cessation of hostilities around the world during the Games.

On the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. This prolonged tragedy is a test for human conscience. The international community must act. We call on all parties to work for an immediate, comprehensive and sustainable ceasefire in Gaza. We support Palestine’s full membership in the U.N., and support restoring to Palestine its legitimate national rights and restarting the two-State solution, so as to achieve lasting peace in the Middle East.

On the Ukraine crisis. China has stated its position on many occasions. China did not start the Ukraine crisis, nor is it a party to or a participant in it. Instead of being an onlooker, we have been playing an important role for peace. The special representative of the Chinese government on Eurasian affairs is on his third round of shuttle diplomacy. At the same time, China opposes attempts to use the Ukraine crisis to scapegoat or smear a third country or to stoke a new cold war. History has proven time and again that at the end of the day, conflicts can only be resolved through negotiation. We call on all parties to resume engagement and dialogue to build mutual trust. We support holding at a proper time an international peace conference that is recognized by both Russia and Ukraine and ensures the equal participation of all parties and fair discussions on all peace plans. We support a balanced, effective and sustainable security architecture in Europe.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

This year marks the 75th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China. Thanks to 75 years of extraordinary efforts, transformative changes have taken place in China and in the lives of the Chinese people. But one thing remains unchanged—our peace-loving and kind nature, our open-mindedness and inclusiveness, and our pursuit of fairness and justice. This is deeply rooted in the 5,000-year Chinese culture and in the soul of the Chinese people. China stands ready to develop friendly relations and cooperation with France and all other countries on the basis of mutual respect, move forward together in face of common challenges, and build together a better future.

Thank you.