President encourages strong ties with newly elected French leader
In their first telephone talk, President Xi Jinping and French president-elect Emmanuel Macron agreed on Tuesday to maintain contact and meet each other at an early date.
The phone conversation, reaffirming a shared commitment to tackle a range of global issues, came a day after Xi sent a congratulatory message on Monday to Macron on his victory the day before.
Macron scored a landslide victory in Sunday’s runoff vote of the presidential election.
In the phone call, Xi congratulated Macron and said China “has always viewed France as a cooperative partner of great significance and priority”.
Macron appreciated Xi’s call and said he attaches great importance to ties with China, according to an official release from the Foreign Ministry.
The new French government will continue friendly relations with China and uphold the one-China policy, Macron said.
Xi said that by raising the relationship between China and France to the next level, as Macron takes office, both peoples and the international community will be served.
Xi said he hopes the two countries will support each other on major issues and deepen cooperation in various fields.
China welcomes France’s participation in building the Belt and Road Initiative, Xi said, referring to the ongoing development of building the Silk Road Economic Belt and 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, which has won support from more than 100 countries and organizations.
Macron echoed Xi’s point, saying the new administration will deepen cooperation with China regarding diplomacy; the economy, trade and industries; and collaboration within the framework of building the Belt and Road.
UN head sees key Belt & Road role
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Monday that China-led Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) can be a “very important instrument” to meet the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
“So I’m expecting to participate in the discussion to see how we can extract the maximum possible value of the Belt and Road Initiative for global inclusive and sustainable development,” Guterres said in an interview with Chinese media at UN headquarters in New York.
Guterres, who will attend the Belt and Road Forum of International Cooperation in Beijing on May 14 and May 15, said it is an excellent opportunity to see all the important infrastructure projects that the initiative is developing in different parts of the world.
“Multilateralism is the solution to global problems. And China has been a strong pillar of multilateralism,” he said. “When we look at BRI, we see a very important contribution to this solidarity in addressing global problems with international cooperation, where China plays a very central role. So I’m very happy to have the chance to participate in this Belt and Road summit.”
At least 28 heads of state and government will attend the forum, which will be the highest-level international meeting since the open and inclusive initiative was proposed by President Xi Jinping in 2013.
The proposal aims to build an infrastructure network and cooperation along ancient Silk Road routes, linking Asia to Africa and Europe.
More than 100 countries and international organizations have joined the initiative, and more than 40 have signed cooperation agreements with China, which has invested more than $50 billion in related programs.
The secretary-general believes the initiative and Agenda 2030 move “in the same direction”.
The investments that are made, especially in the infrastructure, to facilitate the contact of people, trade and development are important part of Agenda 2030, he said, and they relate to several objectives of sustainable development.