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Sarkozy visit to boost ties
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08:18, November 16, 2007

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China will spare no efforts to make French President Nicolas Sarkozy's state visit a great success, Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao said yesterday.

Sarkozy's three-day visit from November 25 will be "a great event for China-France relations," Liu said.

Though it will be the French president's first China visit since assuming office in May, he has already met with his Chinese counterpart Hu Jintao - on the sidelines of the G 8 Summit in Heiligendamm, Germany, in June.

Several senior French officials, including Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner, have visited China in recent months to make preparations for Sarkozy's visit. The French president's diplomatic advisor Jean-David Levitte was in Beijing last week when he met with State Councilor Tang Jiaxuan.

Many bilateral agreements, in areas such as energy, transportation and education, will be inked during Sarkozy's visit, Kouchner said earlier. And the two presidents are likely to discuss the Iranian nuclear and the Myanmar issues.

Liu said yesterday that the Chinese government has always viewed bilateral ties from a strategic and long-term perspective.

Two-way trade reached $17.5 billion in the first seven months of the year, up 25.7 percent year-on-year, he said, and cooperation in fields such as space, aviation, nuclear energy, telecommunication, agriculture and justice has been remarkable.

Japanese PM's visit

Liu rejected speculation that the impasse over gas exploration rights in the East China Sea will impact Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda's planned visit to China next month.

"China attaches great importance to high-level exchanges between the two countries and we welcome Fukuda to visit China as early as possible," Liu said.

Source: China Daily

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