Chinese vice president meets French Polynesian officials

08:38, June 13, 2011      

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Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping met with French High Commissioner in Polynesia Richard Didier and President of French Polynesia Oscar Temaru in Papeete Saturday.

Xi came here for a stopover after he ended an official visit to Chile.

He said that China and French Polynesia have a long history of contacts even though they are far away from each other.

Dating back to the 19th century, some Chinese came to settle in Tahiti, the largest island in French Polynesia, and merged into the local community. This special group has become an important nexus between French Polynisia and China.

"In recent years, thanks to the deepening of Sino-French ties, relations between China and French Polynesia have become increasingly closer with relatively rapid development in cooperation in economy, culture, tourism and other areas," Xi said.

He recalled that French Polynesia had actively participated in the World Expo in Shanghai last year, which helped the Chinese people know more about the French overseas territories in the southern Pacific Ocean.

"Mr. Temaru visited China last year, which further enhanced our friendship and cooperation," he said.

Xi also said the Sino-French relations are now in sound development.

Chinese President Hu Jintao and his French counterpart Nicolas Sarkozy held meetings in November 2010 and in March this year. The two countries have agreed to build a new type of global-oriented comprehensive strategic partnership featuring mutual trust, mutual benefit, maturity and stability.

Xi said that the French Polynesia has unique geographical and cultural advantages with abundant oceanic and tourism resources. He urged the two sides to enhance exchanges among the peoples and enrich bilateral cooperation.

Didier, representative of the French government in the locality, said that France was proud that it was the first Western power to recognize the new China.

In the past two years, relations between China and France have witnessed new development and the exchange of visits between the heads of state opened up a boarder prospect for bilateral ties, he added.

France and China forged diplomatic ties in January 1964.

Temaru spoke highly of the contribution made by local Chinese in French Polynesia's development. He said French Polynesia's participation in the Shanghai World Expo was to commemorate the Chinese ancestors there, and further strengthen the comprehensive cooperation with China.

Source: Xinhua
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