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News Analysis: Hollande's visit to boost China-France ties


19:34, April 23, 2013

BEIJING, April 23 (Xinhua) -- French President Francois Hollande will be the first leader of a Western power to visit Beijing after China's new leadership took office.

Hollande's appearance will surely boost mutual political trust, mutual benefit and win-win cooperation between China and France. It will also lift bilateral ties to a new level.


France was the first Western country that established diplomatic ties with the People's Republic of China (PRC) in 1964 and Paris has long placed relations with Beijing as a priority of its diplomatic policy.

The leaders of China and France have maintained friendly exchanges. The two peoples appeal to each other. They approach each other, carrying good feelings toward each other in their hearts. Therefore, the two countries enjoy a deep and solid foundation of friendship.

Among the first-generation leadership of a new China, Zhou Enlai, Deng Xiaoping and Chen Yi once studied in France. Some former French presidents also had close ties with China, from Charles de Gaulle who repelled various disagreements to recognize the PRC, to Velery Giscard D'estaing and Jacques Chirac who were "China hands" fascinated by Chinese culture and history.

Nicolas Sarkozy, in the latter half of his term, always mentioned the importance of China when he talked about international situations.

France-China relations have been good or very good over the long run, D'estaing said, adding that France and China, both globally influential countries, should maintain frequent contact and exchanges.

Hollande, who was elected in 2012, relayed the great attention that his predecessors attached to China. The first foreign envoy he received after taking office was Kong Quan, China's ambassador to France.

Hollande also named Paul Jean-Ortiz, a career diplomat who headed the Foreign Ministry's Asia department, knows China well and can speak Mandarin, as his diplomatic advisor.

When China's new leadership took office in March, Hollande immediately held a phone conversation with President Xi Jinping and congratulated him on his election as president.

Hollande told Xi that France is willing to use the opportunity of the 50th anniversary of diplomatic ties between France and China in 2014 to map out future cooperation between the two countries.

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