NICE, France, Nov. 6 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Hu Jintao rounded off his state visit to France on Saturday, after reaching agreement with his French counterpart Nicolas Sarkozy on boosting the Sino-French comprehensive strategic partnership.
Since his arrival on Thursday, Hu had met with Sarkozy on several occasions both in Paris and in the southern French city of Nice, before he flew to Portugal on Saturday to continue his two-nation Europe tour.
During their talks Thursday afternoon, the two presidents agreed to make joint efforts to boost cooperation between the two countries.
Hu said that the China-France relationship has been characterized by its strategic and global nature and its ability to move with the times since the two sides forged diplomatic ties 46 yeas ago.
The Chinese president proposed that both sides should continuously deepen mutual understanding by carrying out high-level visits and exchanges between governments, legislatures, political parties and regions.
The two countries should advance with the times and be creative in practical cooperation, and try to double their trade volumes by 2015, said Hu.
During Hu's visit, China and France signed a host of cooperation agreements, covering a wide range of areas such as nuclear energy, aviation, finance, energy efficiency, environmental protection, climate change and culture.
The two sides also issued a joint statement on strengthening their comprehensive strategic relationship.
Since China and France set up diplomatic ties 46 years ago, their bilateral relationship has played a leading role in relations between Western countries and China because of its pioneering nature and strategic significance.
France is China's important trading partner in the European Union. Their two-way trade registered 38 billion U.S. dollars in 2008.
Although their bilateral trade fell to 34.4 billion dollars in 2009 due to the international financial crisis, it has increased significantly since the beginning of this year. In the first nine months, trade volumes between the two countries reached 33 billion dollars.
Hu paid his first state visit to the European nation in January 2004, during which Hu and French leaders agreed on upgrading the bilateral ties to the comprehensive strategic partnership.