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Wang Yi meets France's Emmanuel Macron to mark 60 years of Sino-French relations

Toni Waterman in Paris


China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi met with French President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday, in the first major visit between the two countries this year.‌ The meeting, which focused on Sino-French relations, was held at the Elysee Palace, the official residence of the French President.

‌Wang, also a member of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, planned to travel to the iconic Versailles Palace before flying back to China on Tuesday night. 

‌This is a special year for Sino-French relations as both countries mark the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations. France was the first major Western country to recognize China at the height of the Cold War, paving the way for other European countries and the U.S. to do the same.


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‌Wang met with his French counterpart Stephane Sejourne on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference this past weekend, where he said China and France should maintain that momentum of development, particularly around strategic, economic and financial dialogue and people-to-people exchanges. Wang said this will help promote mutual understanding and friendship between the citizens of both countries.

‌Wang called for more direct flights between France and China to help facilitate that exchange. As part of the official year of China-France Cultural Tourism, Beijing is offering visa free travel for up to 15 days for French citizens.

‌Before arriving in France, Wang spent two days in Spain where he met with Spanish King Felipe VI, Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez and Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Albares Bueno. That visit was also meant to strengthen strategic communication, maintain closer high-level exchanges and deepen practical cooperation, with both sides targeting various fields like telecommunications, healthcare and electric vehicles.

‌"The two sides identified the good experience that has enabled the long-standing friendship between the two countries, which is a commitment to mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit, and made plans together for the growth of bilateral relations," Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Mao Ning said during a news conference on Tuesday, adding that the trip highlighted the "strategic stability" in bilateral relations.

Wang Yi meets France's Emmanuel Macron to mark 60 years of Sino-French relations

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Cover image: China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi has been touring Europe - from the Munich Security Conference to Spain and now France. /Cristina Quicler/AFP

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