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France, China should join forces to meet challenges for good of humanity, experts say

(Xinhua)    08:27, March 01, 2021

A mother and her children take a walk at the Trocadero Square near the Eiffel Tower, in Paris, France, Nov. 16, 2020. (Xinhua/Gao Jing)

- Europe, including France, should strengthen cooperation with China to meet challenges for the good of humanity.

- France and China share special responsibilities in many fields.

PARIS, Feb. 28 (Xinhua) -- After leaders of China and France talked on bilateral ties, French experts have said that Europe, including France, should strengthen cooperation with China to meet challenges for the good of humanity.

In a telephone conversation on Thursday with his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron, Chinese President Xi Jinping said the two countries should cement mutual trust, respect and accomodate in earnest each other's core interests and major concerns, and effectively implement their major cooperation agreements.

With numerous global challenges, including those in health, climate, security, sustainable economy, populism and natural resources, it is the responsibility of the European Union (EU), including France, and China to coordinate, collaborate and unite for the good of humanity, said Leon Laulusa, executive vice president of Paris-based ESCP Business School.

The EU-China investment agreement, mentioned by the two heads of state during the conversation, was a big step forward, noted Laulusa, also executive director of the European Business Confucius Institute.

China and the EU jointly announced the completion of China-EU investment agreement negotiations at the end of last year. In his talk with Macron, Xi called for concerted efforts to enforce the agreement at an early date.

Aerial photo shows a China-Europe freight train bound for Helsinki, Finland departing from Putian Station of Zhengzhou, central China's Henan Province, Nov. 20, 2020.(Xinhua/Hao Yuan)

"Its rapid entry into force will allow us to have expanded mutual access to our two respective markets for our enterprises, fairer conditions of competition, and a strengthening of sustainable development projects essential to our planet," said Laulusa.

"Its application will accentuate the creation of new development models which are fairer and more sustainable for our society," he added.

The EU-China investment agreement marks an important milestone, said Lyazid Benhami, founder of Mulan Road, a communication agency specialized in France-China relations, adding that the deal should be ratified quickly so that European and Chinese entrepreneurs will seize the opportunity for their mutual benefit.

In his conversation with Macron, Xi emphasized that as permanent members of the UN Security Council and responsible major countries, China and France should continue to champion multilateralism, and inspire global efforts to uphold equity and justice, coordination and cooperation, as well as openness and inclusiveness, so as to make due contributions to achieving an early victory in humanity's fight against COVID-19 and promoting world peace and development.

Benhami, also vice-president of the Paris Association of French-Chinese Friendship, added that France and China, both permanent members of the UN Security Council, must be two partner countries for the purpose of settling international conflicts.

Merouane Debbah (2nd R), director of the R&D Center of Huawei France, attends a ribbon-cutting ceremony of Huawei's sixth research center in France, in Paris, Oct. 9, 2020. (Xinhua/Gao Jing)

As China has been fully implementing the G20 Debt Service Suspension Initiative and France and other members of the international community increasing their involvement in Africa, Benhami said the debt reduction, which has weighed heavily on African countries for a long time and become even worse since the COVID-19 crisis, is a possible field for cooperation.

He recalled that Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi in January said China-Africa cooperation has never been closed or exclusive, and that China stands ready to actively promote tripartite or multi-party cooperation with Africa, so as to jointly play a constructive role in promoting peace and development in Africa.

The China-France cooperation is very relevant and complementary in Africa, said Laulusa. "Two major axes of this Sino-French cooperation could be that of education and health, which Africa badly needs," he added.

The first batch of COVID-19 vaccines made by the Chinese biopharmaceutical company Sinovac Biotech is unloaded upon its arrival at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Sepang, Malaysia, Feb. 27, 2021. (Xinhua/Zhu Wei)

As for the cooperation in COVID-19 vaccines, Laulusa highly appreciated the initiative and solidarity of China in providing vaccines for developing countries.

"This is also the recent proposal of the French president as he asked Europe to give vaccine doses to developing countries for international solidarity," he said.

For Benhami, France and China share special responsibilities in many fields. "Our cooperation in the field of research has been very important in recent years, especially in setting up cutting-edge laboratories," he said. "It must be amplified."

"Our two countries must support the efforts to modernize the World Health Organization," he added. "We must remain united in the effort and in the face of health crises." 

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)
(Web editor: Meng Bin, Liang Jun)

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