Beijing, January 25, 2024
Chinese President “Xi Jinping” and French President “Emmanuel Macron” delivered inspiring video speeches at a reception held in Beijing to commemorate the 60th anniversary of diplomatic ties between China and France. The prestigious event took place at the National Center for the Performing Arts, a symbol of cultural collaboration designed by renowned French architect Paul Andreu.
On the same night, the inaugural performance of the opera “Romeo and Juliet” by French composer Charles Gounod marked the beginning of the China-France Year of Culture and Tourism. The opera’s debut exemplified the enduring cultural exchanges between the two nations since the “establishment of diplomatic relations.”
In 1964, “China and France” forged diplomatic ties, making France the first major Western power to do so with the “People’s Republic of China.” President “Xi Jinping,” acknowledging the wisdom and courage of the late leaders Chairman Mao Zedong and General Charles de Gaulle, emphasized that their decision during the Cold War era opened doors for collaboration and exchanges between China and the West, offering hope to the world.
Reflecting on the past 60 years, President Xi highlighted the pivotal role of China-France relations in global affairs, contributing to peace, stability, and development. Currently, France stands as China’s “third-largest trading partner” in the “European Union,” with “bilateral trade” reaching $78.9 billion in 2023.
Xi credited the success to the “China-France spirit,” characterized by independence, mutual understanding, foresight, and win-win cooperation. Looking ahead, he stressed the importance of upholding the original aspirations of diplomatic relations, fostering stability amidst global uncertainties, and addressing emerging challenges.
The year 2024, designated as the China-France Year of Culture and Tourism, coincides with the Paris Olympic Games. President Xi urged both nations to seize this opportunity to expand cultural exchanges, deepen people-to-people ties, and explore cooperation in emerging areas such as green industries and clean energy.
President Macron echoed Xi’s sentiments, expressing France’s commitment to collaborating with China to address global challenges, enhance people-to-people exchanges, especially among the youth, and strengthen the foundation for future bilateral relations.
As the leaders envision a glorious future, the next 60 years are expected to bring even closer cooperation between China and France, creating a legacy of mutual benefit, cultural enrichment, and shared achievements.