Chinese president meets French counterpart Sarkozy to discuss European debt crisis and G-20 summit

President Hu Jintao on Thursday met with French President Nicolas Sarkozy to discuss the European debt crisis and the upcoming G-20 (Group of 20) summit.

"Your visit reflects the height of China-France strategic cooperation," Hu told Sarkozy at the start of their meeting at Beijing's Great Hall of the People.

Hu said stronger China-France cooperation will play an important role in boosting international economic cooperation and promoting the sound recovery of the global economy.

In regards to the European debt crisis, Hu said China is keeping a close watch on the situation and expects financial reforms by some European countries to be successful.

"China is confident about the European economy and the euro. We believe Europe has the wisdom and capability to overcome its current difficulties and maintain economic stability and growth," Hu told Sarkozy.

Hu underscored China's commitment to treat Europe as a major destination for investment. "We also expect Europe to take measures to ensure that Chinese investments there are safe," Hu said.

Sarkozy said measures have been taken in Europe to advance financial reform and boost economic governance in the eurozone.

As the current chair of the G-20, France will host the group's summit in Cannes in November. Hu said China is prepared to discuss the issues that have been set for deliberation at the summit and appreciates the "productive preparation" made by France.

"China will continue to support and participate in the summit and work with all G-20 members to contribute to the summit's success," Hu said.

Hu also stressed the importance of unity, confidence and coordination in the international community as it faces increasingly unstable elements that have affected the recovery of the global economy.

Acknowledging the important role China has played in world economic affairs, Sarkozy said France will discuss major problems confronting the global economy with China.

France will also strengthen coordination with other countries to ensure that the summit will play a positive role in aiding the recovery of the global economy, Sarkozy said.

In regards to China-France relations, Hu said bilateral ties have maintained rapid growth, citing frequent high-level exchanges, vigorous trade cooperation and cultural exchanges, as well as close coordination on major global issues.

"China attaches great importance to its relations with France and hopes to make joint efforts with the country to boost cooperation in areas such as trade, nuclear energy, technology, culture and education," Hu said.

Hu also vowed to enhance strategic coordination with France in order to jointly counter the global financial crisis, maintain global financial stability and boost the recovery of the global economy.

Sarkozy hailed the sound growth of bilateral ties, adding that strategic dialogues between both countries have proceeded smoothly and bilateral strategic trust has been enhanced.

He said France is satisfied with the development of bilateral relations and hopes to further cement dialogues and cooperation with China in areas such as politics, trade and nuclear energy.

[Source: Xinhua, Beijing, 25Aug11]

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