PARIS - China and France should deepen pragmatic cooperation in various areas of people-to-people exchanges to promote bilateral relations to new heights, Vice-Premier Liu Yandong said here on Sept 19.
During a meeting with French Prime Minister Manuel Valls, Liu said that on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations, China and France launched the High-level Mechanism for Dialogue on People-to-People Exchanges.
President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang attach great importance to the first meeting of the mechanism and have both sent congratulatory messages to mark the event, she said.
Liu recalled that at the meeting, the two sides made many specific achievements, signed a joint declaration, and reached consensus on the principles and goal of people-to-people exchanges between China and France.
Both sides agreed to develop people-to-people exchanges into the third pillar for China-France relations after the other two mechanisms, namely the Strategic Dialogue and the Economic and Financial Dialogue, Liu added.
In future, the two countries should jointly well build the High-Level Mechanism for Dialogue on People-to-People Exchanges and better provide service for deepening mutual political trust between China and France, broadening the connotation of strategic cooperation between the two countries, and promoting bilateral relations to higher levels, she said.
For his part, Valls said people-to-people exchanges are an important part of France-China relations.
France is willing to work with China to promote all-round people-to-people exchanges and cooperation in such areas as education, science and technology, and culture, so as to build a close and lasting comprehensive strategic partnership between France and China, he said.