Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
France24 | French, Chinese Presidents Address the Press, 6 Apr, A/V, tri-ling translator, 00:21:40
XI: [We] reiterated the importance of sovereignty and territorial integrity of other nations as the fundamental priciples that we uphold. We are going to ensure that development benefits both of our countries. Just a few moments ago, President Macron and I witnessed a signing of a number of agreements for co-operation, for aeronautics, civil nuclear power, green development, new technologies, and these are all pivotal areas for future development and growth of our respective nations. We focused on other key areas such as carbon neutrality, and training—carbon neutral training programs. We would like to reiterate that China is going to continue to open up it's country to the world, to foreign countries and to new opportunities. France is a key driver in developing our further relationships as we have seen in the past. France will be a guest of honor in future relationships and future events, when we focus on striking a balance, because we need to ensure that companies working in the Chinese borders can do so normally. That is why France will be part of future trade discussions. The coming year will be the year for Franco-Chinese tourism. As part of that we will continue to drive exchanges between our nations, be it for education or tourism. Our shared objective is to ensure the Olympic Games in 2024 can go ahead as planned, and we will ensure that that can happen. Also, we will uphold our efforts to focus on a multifaceted approach to multilateralism, multilateralism that came out of the Cold War. We will also work together in the lead up to the United Nations Conference  on the High Seas to ensure the conference will go ahead. This also marks the twentieth anniversary of the beginning of relationships between China and Europe, and we will strive to bolster that in all areas. And with the president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, we will hold tri-partite meetings between France, China, and the European Union. The objective of said meeting is to focus on strategic autonomy that Europe is striving for. The aim is not just to follow, or to be subject to, the will of others. The aim is to ensure all parties can move forward autonomously.

As for the crisis in Ukraine, China continues to make an appeal for peace and a political solution to be found. With France we call for restraint for all international partners, because if not, the situation will become a situation out of control. We need to ensure that civilians and civilian facilities will be protected. We need to ensure that nuclear weapons are not used, and we condemn the use of biological warfare as well. We are against the use of bombing civilians, and we want everyone to ensure that the solution that comes out of this is a long-term, stable solution. We seek to work together to seek to protect the future relations with Ukraine in all domains—financial, economic, agricultural. (Applause) We also seek to draw attention to, draw light [to], the fact that developing nations also suffer from the fallout of this crisis, and we need to tackle that. Thank you very much.
Macron: Thank you very much, President, ministers, abassadors, journalists. I'd like to thank you foremost for welcoming us here today, some three years after my initial visit where we both met in Shanghai. Over these past three years we continued to maintain open channels of communication  despite the pandemic. Given all that has happened, I would like to thank you for meeting us here in Beijing and [unintelligible]. I would like to thank you for meeting me here today in light of the upcoming tri-lateral meeting between yourself, myself, and the president of the European Commission. This is just another milestone in a long journey of relations that started with Juncker and Merkel years ago. Our co-operation is one that is building on history of co-operation that dates back to our respective understandings of Silk Road. Now, we are striking a form of balance, and I would say that the times that we have just lived accelerated change, accelerated co-operation. Now, I feel that we have come to a form of understanding. France and China as permanent members of the UN Security Council—because of history, the love for independence, and the fact that we believe so deeply in that as a principle—work together to build or preserve a sense of global order that has withstood the test of time.

We work to ensure peace and stability, and we have the ambition to tackle very modern issues. To talk of peace and stability, well, there are very many topics that we could discuss today and tomorrow, especially when focusing on what is happening in the Middle East—the coming together, the coming closer of Saudi Arabia and Iran—which is a welcomed change. We could also speak of Lebanon and the sensibility that needs to be brought into the region. We could also talk about the situation in North Korea, but to speak of peace and stability today obviously means we have to speak of war, war that is being waged by Russia in Ukraine. You just spoke of that, and if I could just touch on that as well. This brings to an end decades of peace on the European continent. This is a war that affects us all, as you mention, because a permanent member of the UN Security Council decided to violate the very charter that governs that council. Therefore, through diplomatic means we have sought to remind Russia of its obligations and its duties, to remind it of the fact that territorial boundaries are part and parcel of sovereignty, and we have pushed to defend the UN Charter. We take very seriously the matter of nuclear powers, and you understand that France agrees in saying that nuclear warfare should not be part of any way forward, and there are certain treaties to that effect. We need to ensure that no countries, who do not have nuclear weapons, be given such capability, because that would go against a number of commitments made by yourself, that we have made, and that many other countries of the world have made. Another point that you have just reminded is, that there is a humanitarian issue at stake here. Russia is violating certain humanitarian law, especially when they target children. Therefore, [we] speak out against this action and speak out against impunity.

We, therefore, need to defend a number of items, and that is what we can talk about, because we need to build [a] sustainable, long-term view. We can only have that if we have Ukrainian people and also if we can have the Russians at the discussion table. I feel that Europe needs stable security for the future, and the stability piece cannot be possible, if we are busy dealing with situations like what is happening in Ukraine. We can consider that Ukraine is a European country and, therefore, we cannot consider stability on a continent insofar as we still have a country that has been invaded by one of its neighboring powers. So, what we have discussed is a number of principles. I agree with a number of principles that we have already discussed. I hope that in a very near future we will be able to have a much more demanding conversation between each other and with Russia so we can remind Russia of these principles. We wish to do so through our diplomatic avenues, because this is a matter of sovereignty and territorial integrity for Ukraine. That is the only condition for long-term, sustainable peace. We need to ensure that there is long-term stability even if there may be a short-term escalation of the situation.

We have a number of shared ambitions. We have the forum for the new Silk Road. This one which will be present is the UN High Commission forum that will be held in Costa Rica. Also, in 2019 we signed a number of important declarations and statements on biodiversity. We are ready to bear the fruits of that at the COP[15] summit in Montreal. This March, the BBNJ agreements. So, we have a number of commitments and agreements that we have made together for example the fight against evolution of [unitelligible]. All of this is part of a road map leading up to [unitelligible]. This is what we want to continue building upon. We have co-ordinating very closely in light of the United Arab Emirate COP28. So we have ambitions. We also have a global financial compact. I would like to make special mention of the considerable role that China plays, especially when it comes to reforming international financial institutions and coming up with a new response for the poorest nations of the world because they need, too. We need to provide solutions for them because they are the ones most hard hit by inequality but also the most hard hit by climate change fallout. We will be meeting with a number of agents and come forward with responses adequate for those nations.

We will be meeting with President von der Leyen which is a multilateral meeting that we'll be having, but we also have bilateral relations. I think our bilateral relations are highly indicative of our friendship. We are fighting for European sovereignty, strategic autonomy, one that is better serve our greater project. It is also one of our greater principles in France. I feel like France has a very clear strategy and our bilateral roadmap is very much relevant within that context. We are will be continuing high-level dialogue as you mentioned in the various formats. We have today signed a number of agreements instituted a large area of work—the strategic areas of research, innovation, a civil nuclear-powered contribution where we will be looking at a complete of the entire industry and the impact that it can play. We have transport and sustainable aviation fuels, the contribution of French companies to the various efforts, There is the AFD, France's foreign aid development and all the work it is doing to fight against climate change, leveraging the expertise from French companies. I feel that we can have greater reciprocity, a new balance, even for trade. We have done much over these past few years— agriculture, food—we will take it even further. We have the minister of agriculture. We have the minister for the seas to just highlight how important France, continental France and its overseas territories, sees these issues. There are so many different domains through farming that we can focus on be it  beef, fish, or other. These agreements cover roughly twenty of our companies. We are kicking off new research for sustainable farming practices as in ways of shoring up greater food security. We also have agreements for aeronautics, health, cosmetics, finance. I'm sure that we will be able to speak before the French-Chinese Council for Business, created just recently.

The dialogue that you were talking of, Mr. President, is one that we want to ramp up in the coming years, because it is a matter of exchange, exchange of people and ideas. You spoke of the Cosmo Festival, that is the highlight of our relations. There is also next year 2024 which we will give for French-Chinese tourism. It will be a way for highlighting our heritage, our arts, our cultural sector. We have here today a number of representatives from our cultural sector. It is also about exchanges between our theaters and museums, all about cultural institutions, one that I am sure you believe in greatly and which we also believe in. That is a form of co-operation that we can to put forward. We want to get back to the same level of air transit as we had pre-COVID. We will do so by focusing on your visa programs, but we want it to be reciprocal, because it is a two-way road. That two-way road is so essential for both of our countries. So this is the model.  

There is one that you and I have discussed at great length on multiple occasions. A topic that comes back time and time again is the matter of human rights. It is one of France's amazing principles. It's not because we have differences that we talk about them. We need to do so respectfully. It's not about giving lessons. It applies to both France and China that we can always garner great results from any relationship when you build on one of respect but not one of superiority, trying to give lessons. We want to focus on one of friendship and respect with our future relations. I dare not speak much longer, but we have major international issues at stake. European autonomy, bilateral relations, as you can see we have quite alot on our agenda. I would like to reiterate how important it is to continue to discuss [how to] avoid any form of escalation in our current world and show that we've worked in the interest of our peoples, that we need to live up to the task that is ahead, and that is why it is so important we both talk about time of our schedules for today's visit and tomorrow's vist. Today's discussions are about agreements for the future. Times are very worrying. Times are quite tragic, and it is up to us not to give in to the easy way out, assume responsibility, and focus on peace to avoid escalation. I know, you, too, believe in this. You believe in it, and I am here to say that France believes in it as well. (Applause)

by Cat on Fri Apr 7th, 2023 at 05:41:44 AM EST

Others have rated this comment as follows:

Oui 4


Occasional Series