China and France signed commercial deals on Wednesday totaling $15.1 billion in such fields as aviation, energy, agriculture and finance to boost their cooperation, and vowed to jointly safeguard multilateralism and free trade.
President Xi Jinping and his French counterpart, Emmanuel Macron, witnessed the signing of the cooperation documents after their talks at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. Macron, on his second state visit to China since he took office in 2017, also attended the opening ceremony of the second China International Import Expo in Shanghai.
The two countries also released an initiative reaffirming their strong support for the UN Paris climate agreement, from which the United States started its formal exit process this week. Xi told Macron that the two leaders had sent "a strong signal to the world about steadfastly upholding multilateralism and free trade, as well as working together to build an open world economy".
China and France, as two permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, should shoulder more responsibilities and exercise their roles as major countries, and jointly safeguard the international system with the UN at the core, the international order based on international law, and the multilateral trading regime with World Trade Organization rules as the cornerstone, Xi said.
Macron said his country stands ready to work with China to push for WTO reforms to make progress at an early date. He highlighted the importance of strengthening cooperation between China and the European Union in an uncertain world, and said France is willing to advance EU-China ties to step up negotiations on the China-EU investment agreement.
Source: China Daily