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Vice President Zeng Qinghong Meets with French Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin

On April 21, 2005, Chinese Vice President Zeng Qinghong met in the Great Hall of the People with French Prime Minister Raffarin.

Zeng Qinghong said China is delighted and satisfied with the development momentum of China-France comprehensive strategic partnership. The heads of state of China and France realized exchange of visit last year on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between the two countries and both sides decided to further develop the comprehensive strategic partnership. Currently, China-France political mutual trust and strategic cooperation have been further deepened. The two countries have conducted close consultation and effective cooperation on hot international issues. Substantial progress has been made in economic and trade cooperation. France understands and supports China on the Taiwan issue and the issue of lifting arms embargo to China by the European Union. Zeng said the event of cross cultural year is a great highlight in bilateral relations. The Chinese Cultural Year has received positive response in France and Europe. The ongoing French Cultural Year in China has also gained popularity among the Chinese people. Zeng noted China gives priority to its relations with France and would like to maintain close consultation, cooperation and coordination with France to continuously uplift China-France comprehensive strategic partnership to new levels.

Raffarin said it is conducive to deepening mutual understanding and promoting bilateral relations for France and China to maintain top-level exchanges. France is very pleased to see productive cooperation between the two countries in agriculture, transportation, aviation and energy. The French government firmly adheres to the one-China policy, appreciates the efforts made by the Chinese government to improve and develop relations across the Taiwan Straits and believes the European Union should lift the arms embargo to China. Raffarin indicated France will continue to promote France-China and EU-China relations.

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