Chinese president Xi Jinping held an informal meeting with French president Emmanuel Macron on Friday in Guangzhou, the capital of Guangdong Province in south China.
Xi warmly welcomed Macron's visit to Guangzhou, expressing great pleasure to meet him again. The two leaders strolled through the Pine Garden close to Baiyun Mountain, chatting and stopping at times to enjoy the unique scenery of the southern Chinese garden. They had tea by the water, enjoying the view and discussing the past and present. Xi and Macron listened to the Guqin melody "High Mountain and Flowing Water" at Baiyun Hall. Xi then invited Macron to dinner.
Xi said that to understand today's China, one must begin by understanding its history. Guangzhou is the cradle of China's democratic revolution and the vanguard of China's reform and opening-up. Now Guangzhou is actively promoting the development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, continuing to play its role as a locomotive for high-quality development.
Briefing Macron on the essential features and core elements of Chinese modernization, Xi noted that China is advancing Chinese modernization in an all-round way. This is a socialist modernization theory and practice with Chinese characteristics, which has gradually come into being through repeated reform, opening up and innovative development. It conforms to the general laws of modernization and has unique characteristics.
"We have full confidence in China's future development. We welcome France to continue to actively participate in the China Import and Export Fair, the China International Import Expo, and the China International Fair for Trade in Services to further expand the Chinese market," Xi told Macron.
Macron said true friendship means mutual understanding and mutual respect. France appreciates China's consistent support for France and Europe to be independent and united, and is ready to work with China to respect each other's core interests such as sovereignty and territorial integrity, open their markets to each other, and strengthen technological and industrial cooperation, as well as cooperation in artificial intelligence, to help each other achieve development and prosperity.
On the Ukraine crisis, Xi noted that its cause is complex and a prolonged crisis serves no one's interests. He said a ceasefire as soon as possible would serve the interests of all parties concerned, and a political settlement is the only correct solution.
China will never handle the Ukraine issue out of selfish interests, but always stands for fairness and justice. All relevant parties should shoulder their responsibilities and make joint efforts to create conditions for a political settlement, Xi said.
China welcomes France's concrete proposal for a political solution to the crisis, and stands ready to support it and play a constructive role, Xi added.
Macron said France also believes that a political settlement of the Ukraine crisis needs to take into account legitimate concerns of all parties. France attaches great importance to China's international influence and is willing to work closely with China to facilitate an early political settlement of the crisis.
Xi said the in-depth and high-quality exchanges he had with Macron in Beijing and Guangzhou over the two days have enhanced mutual understanding and mutual trust, and set the course for future cooperation between the two sides at the bilateral and international levels.
Xi said he is glad that they have the same or similar views on China-France relations, China-EU relations and many international and regional issues, which demonstrates the high level and strategic nature of China-France relations. He said he would like to maintain close strategic communication with Macron and elevate the bilateral comprehensive strategic partnership to a new height.
Macron thanked Xi for his hospitality and elaborate arrangements, and said that in addition to the friendly, in-depth exchanges between the two leaders, he is able to appreciate China's long history and splendid culture, and has a better understanding of the concepts of modern Chinese governance.
Macron said the visit was successful and rewarding, which will boost bilateral relations toward greater development. He said he is willing to maintain close strategic communication with Xi and welcomed the Chinese president to visit France next year.