Speech at the Meeting Commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the Establishment of China-France Diplomatic Relations
H.E. Mr. Xi Jinping, President of the People’s Republic of China
Paris, 27 March 2014
Your Excellency President François Hollande,Ladies and Gentlemen,Dear Friends,
It gives me great pleasure to be with you in the beautiful city of Paris in the lovely spring to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the establishment of China-France diplomatic ties. At the outset, I wish to extend, on behalf of the government and people of China and in my own name, our sincere greetings and best wishes to you and, through you, to the people in all walks of life who have long endeavored to promote friendship with China and to the friendly people of France.
China-France relationship is at an important juncture of building on past achievements to make new progress. I am visiting France, bringing with me a fond memory of the growth of China-France friendship and a keen desire to deepen our comprehensive strategic partnership from the government and people of China.
As a Chinese proverb goes, “When drinking water, one should never forget those who dug the well.” As we are meeting here, we cannot but think of two great men. Fifty years ago, at the height of the Cold War between the East and the West, with extraordinary strategic vision, Chairman Mao Zedong and General Charles de Gaulle courageously made the historic decision to establish full diplomatic relations between China and France, thus opening the door to mutual understanding and exchanges not only between China and France, but also between China and the Western world. Ever since then, China-France relationship has become a special one among major-country relationships in the world, and it has always been at the forefront of China’s relations with major developed countries in the West.