Published: 10:24, February 17, 2023 | Updated: 10:29, February 17, 2023
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China, France working together for global good
By China Daily

That Chinese top diplomat Wang Yi has made France the destination for his first trip in his new capacity as director of the Office of the Foreign Affairs Commission of the Communist Party of China Central Committee speaks of the importance that China has attached to its relations with the European country.

Indeed, as the first major Western country to establish diplomatic relations with China in 1964, and a comprehensive strategic partnership with the country in 2004, France has always been seen as a trustworthy partner of cooperation that China could work with in the international arena. The French foreign policy tradition that features independence from external influence, a virtue that has been inherited by nearly every French leader since General Charles de Gaulle, has enabled the country to play an increasingly important role as a promoter of a multipolar world.

As such, the two countries have been able to join hands to uphold the principles of the United Nations, safeguard multilateralism and address global challenges such as climate change and biodiversity.

Thus it comes as no surprise that during Wednesday's meeting between Wang and French President Emmanuel Macron, they discussed how France and China should work together to uphold multilateralism, oppose bloc confrontations, and avoid the world being broken apart in the face of the increasingly complicated international situation.

The issue has been gaining a sense of urgency given the rising unilateralism being pushed by the United States in disregard of the interests of the rest of the world, as well as the US-orchestrated decoupling bid targeting China in trade and high-tech sectors aimed at excluding the country from the global industrial and supply chains. Although the fact that China now contributes one-fourth of the global economic growth makes a complete decoupling unrealistic and a lose-lose plan.

Now that China's economy has recovered rapidly and society has returned to normal thanks to the optimizing of its COVID-19 prevention and control measures, French businesses and enterprises stand ready to benefit immensely from the huge Chinese market, given that close economic and trade cooperation has always been the solid foundation for Sino-French relations.

Another issue of mutual concern they exchanged views over was how to find a path of political solution to the Russia-Ukraine conflict, as both Macron and Wang reportedly "expressed the same objective of contributing to peace in accordance with international law".

China has steadfastly called for peace talks between Russia and Ukraine, and hopes to cooperate with the international community, including France, to work for a cease-fire at an early date. As the nearly year-long conflict has not only devastated Ukraine, but also caused an energy crisis in Europe and food shortages in many developing countries, it would be a blessing for the world if meaningful Sino-French cooperation on the issue could help heighten the hopes of the two conflicting parties returning to the negotiation table.