PARIS, Nov. 3 (Xinhua) -- It is widely believed that Chinese President Hu Jintao's forthcoming visit to France, slated for Nov. 4 to 6, will enrich Sino-French relations and turn a new page.
China and France have seen a sound development of ties since the forging of diplomatic relations at the ambassadorial level in 1964. In 1997, France signed a joint communique with China to build a full-round strategic partnership toward the 21st century, becoming the first Western nation to establish such a relationship with China. A new partnership featuring mutual trust, mutual benefit, maturity, stability and a global vision was established in 2004 to further deepen their relations.
The development of ties was not without ups and downs. However, both countries made active efforts to mend ties when rifts occurred in 2008 after French President Nicolas Sarkozy met with the Dalai Lama, who strove to separate China and disrupt ethnic harmony.
From then on both sides acknowledged that a steady and rapid development of ties could not be achieved without mutual respect, treating each other as equals and taking into consideration each other's core interest and major concerns.
In the face of complicated and profound changes on the international stage, Hu and French leaders will discuss how to work together to highlight the strategic nature of the partnership between the two countries, Chinese Ambassador to France Kong Quan said ahead of Hu's visit.
Meanwhile, the need to address a combination of challenges like climate change, terrorism and food safety is also demanding more fruitful coordination and cooperation between China and France.
In terms of politics, the two nations, both permanent members of the United Nations Security Council and with similar positions on various international issues, should further deepen cooperation to safeguard world peace and development, and the long-term interests of their respective countries.
France, a firm advocate of European integration, plays a crucial role in the European Union (EU). Therefore, better Sino-French communication should entail promoting the China-EU comprehensive strategic partnership as well as cooperation and mutual trust between China and Europe.
In economic cooperation, China and France have been complementary to each other, achieving an average annual growth of two-way trade volume of 18 percent in the recent decade. The two sides have also displayed the eagerness and passion to map out new cooperative prospects in the wake of the financial crisis.
According to Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Fu Ying, both China and France are undergoing industrial restructuring which provides opportunities for both sides to seek new development areas.
The two countries are expected to sign agreements in high and new technology, energy-saving and environmental protection, Fu said.
Cultural exchanges are also an integral part of Sino-French ties. The 2003-2005 China-France Culture Year held in both countries signaled the start of multidimensional cultural exchanges. Governments at state and local levels, organizations and individuals can all become part of the interaction.
The cooperation between China and France is of global significance, which will see a brighter future.