Chinese Premier Li Keqiang held a telephone conversation with his French counterpart Manuel Valls on Thursday, in which the two leaders exchanged views on how to deepen bilateral ties and advance practical cooperation in various fields.
Premier Li said that the exchange of visits by the two leaders to each other's country last year helped strengthen mutual trust and secure the leading position of China's practical cooperation with France compared to that with other European nations.
The two countries have made new progress in cooperation in such fields as nuclear energy, aviation and finance, Li said, adding that China, proceeding from a strategic height and long-term perspective on a continued basis, wishes to work with France to further well implement the consensus reached by the two sides, so as to promote their cooperation to a new level.
Li elaborated that China and France have jointly advocated the launch of cooperation in third markets, which is a strategic initiative agreed upon by the two sides on the basis of mutual trust and complementary advantages. The two nations have made positive progress in the common fund, cooperation mechanisms, the first batch of projects, among others.
China stands ready to work with France to ensure a smooth start of the aforementioned cooperative projects and develop third markets in areas like nuclear power, all in a bid to expand the scope and scale of bilateral cooperation and promote all-win results for all parties concerned, the Chinese premier said.
As for the Chinese economy, Li noted that China has seen a stable economic performance within the reasonable range this year, and a number of positive changes have taken place in its economic structure.
Confronted with a staggering recovery of the world economy and the multiple challenges that emerged in China's economic restructuring and upgrading, the country will keep sticking to reform and opening up, and is confident in reaching the main targets of the economic and social development set for this year, Li said.
He added that China's economic fundamentals that have secured the country's long-term sound growth remain unchanged, which is conducive to China's cooperation with France in third markets and other areas.
For his part, Valls spoke positively of the sound development of bilateral relations over the past year, adding that France was encouraged by the sustained and sound growth of the Chinese economy in light of the Chinese government's stimulation efforts.
The French economy has also seen some improvements and its fundamentals become increasingly solid, which would promote China-France cooperation, he noted.
France is willing to work with China to implement the consensus reached by the two governments, including the facilitation of cooperation in the third markets, so as to give full play to the mutually complementary advantages and promote bilateral cooperation toward achievement of practical results at an early date, said Valls.