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Hollande: China, France can drive the world
April 26, 2013, 9:17 am


Economic cooperation is an important part of the partnership between China and France says President Xi Jinping [Xinhua]

French President Francois Hollande in a maiden state visit to China has tried to improve ties with the world’s second largest economy by stressing on the need for multipolarity.

“China and France both want a multi-polar world. We want there to be a balance. We refuse a world of powers, and of superpowers,” AP quoted Hollande as saying to reporters on Thursday after his talks with Xi in Beijing.

“When China and France agree on a position, we can drive the world” said President Hollande.

The French president also expressed his appreciation for China’s support for Europe’s efforts to resolve the debt crisis.

“Economic cooperation constitutes an important part of the comprehensive strategic partnership between China and France,” Chinese President Xi Jinping said in a speech in front of hundreds of Chinese and French businessmen as he attended a business forum together with Hollande.

Earlier, President Xi and Hollande witnessed the signing of a string of deals after their talks.

Beijing signed a $8 billion agreement with Paris to purchase 60 Airbus planes during the first day of Hollande’s visit.

Xi said the country encourages Chinese enterprises to invest in France.

In his speech, the Chinese president said he hopes France will help urge the EU to relax restrictions on exporting high-tech products to China.

“China is willing to import more French products,” he said.

France hopes to cooperate with China and expand two-way trade and investment in pursuit of common prosperity, Hollande said.

The French trade deficit with China in 2012 hit 26 billion euros, the biggest with any single trade partner, Hollande said.

At the forum, the two leaders said they are opposed to protectionism, calling for fair business environments.

Hollande also believed his visit to China would help improve employment in France.

“There are over one million unemployed” Hollande said, adding that the primary purpose of his trip was to find opportunities for French jobs.

On Thursday, the two sides issued a joint press communique to highlight their consensus during Hollande’s China trip.

In the communique, the two countries called for early reform of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

China and France also agreed to join hands on the progress of developing countries, especially African countries, according to the joint communique.

With inputs from Xinhua