Sarkozy visit to boost relations

09:19, April 23, 2010      

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French President Nicolas Sarkozy's state visit next week is a positive signal of the recent thaw in Sino-French relations, which had hit a trough following his meeting with the Dalai Lama in December 2008, analysts said on Thursday.

Pang Zhongying, a senior expert on world politics at the Beijing-based Renmin University of China said: "With Sarkozy's state visit, Sino-French ties will enter a new phase."

"Bilateral relations should look ahead. Leaders of both countries will discuss major global issues such as the reform of the international financial system and climate change," Pang said.

"China has become an important engine for the recovery of the global economy. And, it has strived hard to find solutions for climate change. All these developments have made EU nations, including France, to reconsider their positions toward China," he said.

This will be Sarkozy's third visit to the country. The French president will arrive in Xi'an, the capital of Shaanxi province in northwest China, on April 28th. That will be followed by a visit to Beijing.

He will also attend the opening ceremony of the Shanghai Expo on the 30th, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said on Thursday.

Sarkozy will be accompanied by his wife, Carla Bruni.

"China cherishes its ties with France. The relationship enjoys a positive momentum with frequent exchanges in various fields," Jiang said, adding the relationship will move to a more strategic level this year.

"We would like to continue to work together with France, enhance political mutual trust, deepen cooperation in every sector, strengthen coordination on major world and regional issues and push for steady and healthy development of bilateral ties," said Jiang.

China's ties with France and the European Union will witness a positive change since there are many issues of mutual concern, Pang said.

"Sarkozy will try to better understand bilateral concerns ahead of the G20 summit later this year."

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso will also pay an official visit to China from April 29 to May 1 at the invitation of Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, the foreign ministry's spokeswoman Jiang said.

Source: China Daily


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