China, France vow to Cement Friendship as Anniversary Celebrations Conclude

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and his French counterpart Manuel Valls agreed to cement friendship and cooperation as year-long activities marking the 50th anniversary of China-France diplomatic ties concluded in Beijing.

The two leaders visited an exhibition of famous French sculptor Auguste Rodin in downtown Beijing to mark the end of the celebrations.

Addressing the occasion, Li said the forging of diplomatic ties in 1964 had unveiled a new chapter for relations between the two great nations.

Hailing the progress of bilateral ties over the years, he said both countries had remarkable cooperation in politics, economy, culture and global affairs in the past year.

“We have held over 800 activities to celebrate the 50th anniversary of ties, which have enhanced mutual understanding and friendship between the two peoples and helped to consolidate a social foundation for ties,” Li said.

Under the new circumstances, China is ready to handle relations with France from a strategic and long-term perspective, respect each other and treat one another as equals, and cement win-win cooperation, strategic trust and cultural exchanges, said the Chinese premier.

He called on both sides to cement friendship and make new contributions to maintaining international and regional peace, and boosting development of humankind.

Applauding the smooth development of ties and vigorous cultural exchanges, Valls said those celebration activities reflected the profound friendship between the two people.

He expressed confidence for the future growth of France-China ties, adding there is huge potential for bilateral cooperation.

A total of 139 original works of Rodin are on display at the National Museum of China from last November to March 22 of 2015, including sculptures “The Thinker”, “The Age of Bronze”, “Monument of Balzac” and “The Gates of Hell”.

Valls is visiting China from Jan 29 to 31. This is his first China visit since taking office in March 2014.

Source: China News