Chinese President to visit Paris to boost ties

Updated: 2014-01-28 07:47

By Li Xiang in Paris

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Chinese President to visit Paris to boost ties

 Terracotta performance at Night of China in the Grand Palace of Paris Photo/Li Xiang China Daily

Chinese President Xi Jinping will pay a state visit to France in March, which is expected to elevate the Sino-French strategic partnership to a new level as the two countries celebrate the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations this year.

The visit was confirmed by French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault on Monday in his speech at the event "Night of China" in Paris to mark the momentous decision of former French President Charles de Gaulle to recognize the new Chinese government 50 years ago.

Earlier on Monday, President Xi and his French counterpart Francois Hollande exchanged messages to congratulate each other on the milestone event in the Sino-French bilateral relations.

"The historical action is the foundation of the deep and special Sino-French friendship," Ayrault said.

"Courage and bravery must continue to inspire our common search for new horizons of the Franco -Chinese cooperation. We should not hesitate to write new chapters in our shared history," he said.

Ayrault said that French President Hollande expressed Paris's willingness to deepen and broaden cooperation with Beijing during his visit to China last April and similar expectations are also emerging for the visit of Chinese President Xi to France in March.

Chinese President to visit Paris to boost ties

 French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault gives speech to mark the 50th anniversary of Sino-French diplomatic relations

Chinese ambassador to France Zhai Jun echoed Ayrault’s comments, saying that China and France should continue to expand the significance of the Sino-French strategic partnership in the world politics.

"We should focus on the future and take advantage of the key reforms that both our countries are undertaking to broaden the scope of Sino-French cooperation," Zhai said.

The celebratory event on Monday at the Grand Palace in the French capital featured performances including the piano solo by Chinese pianist Wu Muye, acrobatic shows from Shanghai Acrobatic Group, ballet dance by the National Ballet of China and the National Opera Ballet of Paris as well as the martial art performance by Shaolin Tagou Martial Art School from China’s Henan province.

The event also staged an equestrian art show by well-known French horse trainer and performer Bartabas to mark the upcoming Chinese Year of Horse.

Cai Wu, the Chinese Minister of Culture said that China and France are countries of great civilizations and should continue to courage exchanges among the peoples especially the younger generations.

Chinese President to visit Paris to boost ties

 A Chinese singer performs at Night of China in the Grand Palace of Paris

France was the first country in the world to establish the Chinese Culture Center in its capital in 2002. In 2003 and 2004, the two countries also jointly held the China-France Culture Year to promote mutual affections among the peoples.

"The people of our two countries appreciate and are attracted to each other. And we should continue to encourage the younger generations to carry on the spirit and legacy of the Sino-French friendship in order to deepen our mutual exchanges and cooperations," Cai said.