Nuclear cooperation highlights French PM's visit to China

10:03, December 21, 2009      

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French Prime Minister Francois Fillon is visiting China from December 20 to 22, 2009. France hopes that this visit will "speed up better Sino-French relations," while it also expects to further economic cooperation with China. In particular, cooperation on nuclear power between the two countries has aroused the concern of French public opinion.

Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported that Francois Fillon's visit to China is making further efforts to warm up the France-China relations on one hand, and on the other is making early preparations for French President Nicolas Sarkozy's visit to China next year before or after the opening of the Shanghai World Expo.

Agence France-Presse and the French economics newspaper Les Echos said during Francois Fillon's visit, France may sign nuclear cooperation contracts with China worth 1.5 billion euros.

It is reported that Electricite de France (EDF) and the French nuclear power company Areva Group will sign a contract with Guangdong Nuclear Power Group to confirm their joint venture to build two EPR, the third generation pressurized water reactor (PWR) nuclear power plants in Taishan, Guangdong. To this end, presidents of Electricite de France and the French power company Areva Group will also visit with Francois Fillon.

France also intends to promote another two projects: the construction of a nuclear waste treatment plant, as well as the construction of a Sino-French Institute of Nuclear Research in Guangdong.

French newspaper La Tribune had reported that China has made a decision to cooperate with Safran Group from France and General Electric (GE) from the United States to provide the engine for the first Chinese-made large aircraft C 919. A formal contract will be signed during Fillon's visit to China.

In addition, the medium utility helicopter Z-15 co-developed by China and France recently has successfully completed its maiden flight in Marseille, France.

The Government of France said about Francois Fillon's visit to China, "It's all over; a new chapter in Sino-French relations had been opened". While the French public opinion says that due to economic considerations, France hopes to quickly repair Sino-French relations, "China is very important to us." France is striving to enter China's new markets, including helicopter sales, medical, telecommunications and other fields.

It is learned that since heads of state from France and China had two meetings this year, and reached important consensus on the further development of bilateral relations, the two sides finally crosses the "frozen period" in bilateral relations which lasted more than a year, and business cooperation between the two countries is rapidly developing.

By People's Daily Online
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