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Wang Yi Speaks with French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian on the Phone

On November 20, 2020, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi had a phone conversation with French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian.

Wang Yi said the bilateral ties have overcome the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and developed against the odds this year. Chinese President Xi Jinping has made several phone calls with French President Emmanuel Macron and recently attended the third Paris Peace Forum to jointly maintain multilateralism and promote international cooperation. This fully demonstrates the high level of mutual trust between the two heads of state, the high-level comprehensive strategic cooperation between the two countries, and the responsibility of the two major countries to deal with global challenges, which have produced a positive impact on the world. As the COVID-19 pandemic is still surging, we feel relieved at seeing the pandemic situation in France has slowed down after a recent resurgence. China believes that under the leadership of President Macron, the French government and people will be able to completely defeat the pandemic.

Wang Yi said that China has noticed that President Macron has recently called on the European Union (EU) to adhere to strategic independence, which shows France's independent diplomatic tradition and is in line with Europe's fundamental and long-term interests. China has always upheld the world's multi-polarization and supported the EU to stand on its own as a pole of the world. This is not a temporary thought of the Chinese side, but a consistent strategic thinking. China and the EU have different social systems, which is a choice made by their peoples and is also based on their unique historical and cultural traditions. As the first Western major country to establish diplomatic relations with China, France has a better understanding of China's historical changes, and reform and development process. The most important factor for China-France relations to brave wind and rain and maintain the momentum of development lies in mutual respect. Both sides should continue to carry forward this tradition and treat each other's differences with an open and inclusive attitude, and accommodate each other's legitimate concerns. China is the defender of the current international order, and will firmly safeguard the international system with the United Nations at its core, and practice the basic norms of international relations based on the UN Charter's purposes and principles. China has always adhered to the path of peaceful development and achieved its own development through mutual benefit and win-win cooperation with other countries. China has incorporated peaceful development into its Constitution, which has become the will of a state, and will continue to follow it.

Le Drian expressed his sincere thanks to President Xi Jinping for attending the third Paris Peace Forum through video link, which is a strong support for the French side. France highly appreciates the anti-pandemic cooperation between the two sides and is willing to work with China to enhance high-level exchanges to deepen mutually beneficial cooperation in various fields. France firmly supports multilateralism and has always maintained that Europe and China should develop their friendly relations based on the principles of mutual respect and mutual trust. Le Drian said no matter how the international situation changes, the EU will not change its position of upholding strategic independence.

The two sides agreed to strengthen communication and coordination, actively prepare for the next stage of high-level exchanges, deepen cooperation in civil nuclear energy, continue to support each other and make the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP15) in Kunming and the 7th International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) World Conservation Congress in Marseille a success.

The two sides also exchanged views on promoting the negotiations on a China-EU investment agreement. Both sides agreed that speeding up the completion of the negotiations of the China-EU Investment Agreement is in the interests of both sides, and agreed to reach agreement as soon as possible through consultations.

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