July 4th, 2018

Promote Sino-French cultural exchanges and strengthen strategic mutual trust

(From chinareports.org.cn, Correspondent: Li Chuanjun) On the evening of July 4, former French Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin and Mr. Xiao Wunan, Executive Vice Chairman of Asia Pacific Exchange & Cooperation Foundation, held a discussion at Four Seasons Hotel in Beijing on how to build long-term mutual trust between China and France. Mr. Wei Jianguo, former Vice Minister of Commerce, participated in the discussion.

Former French Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin and Mr. Xiao Wunan pose for a photo after their meeting

Mr. Raffarin said in the face of the increasingly complex global situation, the establishment of a long-term and forward-looking bilateral relationship between China and France will play a positive and constructive role in the stability and peaceful development of the world. He said that with the promotion of China’s “One Belt One Road” initiative, the new Eurasian plate is about to take shape. China, France, Germany and Russia will become the four pillars of the region. These countries should establish stable cooperative relations, which will play an important role in the new Eurasian region to become the core of politics, economy, culture and ecology in the future.

Mr. Xiao Wunan thanked Mr. Raffarin for his long-term commitment to promoting mutual understanding and friendship between China and France, and expressed full recognition and understanding of his views. Mr. Xiao Wunan said China and France have achieved many “first”, such as the first major Western country to establish diplomatic relations with China and the first major Western country to establish a comprehensive strategic partnership with China. This year, the two countries will further enhance the level of their close and lasting comprehensive strategic partnership, which has far-reaching historical significance and practical considerations. These progresses are due to the long accumulated trust and friendship between the two countries as well as the recognition of each other's culture. In view of this, more politicians, social activists, scholars and entrepreneurs from the two countries have fully realized the important roles of cultural factors in Sino-French relations, which play a vital role in consolidating political and strategic mutual trust and are also the basis for mutual coordination on important international issues, such as responding to climate change and promoting global economic integration and opposition to trade protectionism.

Mr. Wei Jianguo, who is full of affection for France, has been to France for many times and established profound friendship with several generations of French leaders. He said the long-term friendship between China and France conforms with the hope of the two peoples and has a broad social foundation. At the same time, he hoped French enterprises will play an active role in this year's Shanghai World Exposition.

Mr. Jacques Rougerie (left), initiator of "SeaOrbiter" project, Admiral Bernard Rogel (center), Chief of Staff of the French Navy, and and Mr. Xiao Wunan, Executive Vice Chairman of APECF, pose for a group photo

Mr. Xiao Wunan has been committed to deepening the friendship between the Chinese and French people for a long time. He has made fruitful achievements in promoting bilateral political, economic, cultural and educational exchanges and cooperation, and has exerted extensive influence. For example, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and France in 2014, he promoted cooperation between China and France in marine technology and was awarded the honorary ambassador title by the French Academy, the cradle of European thought. He has made pioneering contributions in assisting the European Parliament in France to communicate and hold dialogue with China on human rights. He believes that strengthening regular exchanges and cooperation with influential people in different fields of France would play an important role in the development of new Sino-French relations and create a good atmosphere for the upcoming China-EU Summit.