A couple of stories regarding Chinese President Hu’s visit to France and their strategic partnership
PARIS, Jan. 27 (Xinhuanet) # Visiting Chinese President Hu Jintaosaid Tuesday that the joint declaration he and his French counterpart, Jacques Chirac, signed will play an important role in boosting Sino-French ties in the future.
Speaking at a joint press conference held after talks with Chirac, Hu said the declaration reviewed the growth of the Sino-French comprehensive strategic partnership established since 1997.
The declaration also put forward the steps to boost cooperationin the political, economic, military, cultural, scientific and technological fields and set the direction for coordination and dialogue in major international affairs, he added.
Hu expressed his belief that the declaration will play an important role in promoting the Sino-French relations in the future.
For his part, Chirac said the two sides have started a process that will increase exchanges between the two countries, and Franceis willing to promote the exchanges with China.
The French president said he believed that the bilateral economic and trade ties can be promoted with the guidelines the two sides set, including measures to encourage business between French and Chinese enterprises and boost cooperation in areas like infrastructure, nuclear energy, railway and aviation.
Hu said he had exchanged in-depth views with Chirac during their talks on major regional and international issues and they reached consensus on a wide range of issues.
They also agreed that in such a complicated international situation, China and France should intensify coordination and cooperation to meet the challenges and contribute to the realization of lasting world peace and common prosperity, Hu said.
Hu also said the Sino-French relations have been consolidated and deepened in various aspects due to the joint efforts of their leaders since the two countries established diplomatic ties 40 years ago.
President Hu is in France on a three-day state visit.
Dozens of French MPs have led a protest against human rights in China by boycotting the Chinese president’s address to the French parliament.
President Hu Jintao was given the rare honour of addressing parliament during a state visit which is aimed at boosting trade and other ties.
But human rights activists say the red-carpet welcome was inappropriate.
One MP stood in parliament during the speech wearing a white gag, while others joined street protests in Paris.
Associated Press said about half of France’s 577 MPs, including socialists, greens and members from Mr Chirac’s conservative party, did not attend the speech.
Hundreds of followers of Falun Gong, a spiritual movement banned in China, protested outside the Chinese consulate on Tuesday.
Police stopped a protest at the Eiffel Tower by a group of about 30 activists from the media organisation Reporters Sans Frontieres (RSF) who had been planning to release red balloons carrying portraits of imprisoned Chinese dissidents.
Vincent Brossel, from RSF, said it had been very difficult to demonstrate against Mr Hu’s visit.
We very much appreciate France’s continuing with its one-China policy
“We obviously want to denounce the fact that journalists and web users are detained in jail for a very long time just because of criticising the authorities and denouncing corruption,” he said.
Mr Chirac and Mr Hu signed a joint declaration on Tuesday calling, among other things, for human rights to be protected.
Mr Hu made a veiled reference to the protests in his speech to parliament, saying the UN International Covenant on Civic and Political Rights would be put to the Chinese National People’s Congress for ratification once all conditions were in place.
Mr Hu’s visit began on Monday with a presidential welcome at the airport and a banquet at the Elysee Palace.
It is his first state visit to Western Europe since becoming president last March.
France’s moves to boost its Chinese ties have sparked controversy.
Taiwan was angered by Mr Chirac’s description of a forthcoming referendum on defence as a “grave error”.
Some European Union countries were opposed to a French call on Monday for the EU’s arms embargo to be lifted by March.
The joint declaration signed in Paris contained opposition to the Taiwan referendum as well as a pledge to boost economic ties.
Mr Hu later announced that China had agreed to buy 21 Airbus aircraft from the European aircraft maker Airbus SAS.