China-France cooperation to set example for EU

China France File photo: cnsphoto

China France File photo: cnsphoto

As French Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Stéphane Séjourné will kick off a visit to China on Monday, Chinese experts said on Sunday that economic and trade relations are the cornerstone of China-France bilateral ties, and the two countries have broad cooperation prospects in green development and technology innovation.

This type of bilateral cooperation has set a good example for the EU by adhering to the principle of mutual benefit and addressing differences through dialogue and consultation, experts said. 

On Friday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lin Jian announced that Séjourné will pay a visit to China on Monday at the invitation of Member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi.

During Séjourné’s visit, the two countries are expected to focus on bilateral economic and trade relations, solving problems encountered in cooperation, and creating a better business environment for enterprises of both sides, Cong Yi, a professor at the Tianjin University of Finance and Economics, told the Global Times on Sunday.

In addition, they may strengthen communication and cooperation in international affairs and jointly address global challenges such as climate change and public health, Cong noted.

This year marks the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and France. France will be the guest country of honor at the China International Fair for Trade in Services 2024 and the seventh China International Import Expo.

Over the past six decades, the two countries have adhered to mutual benefit and win-win outcomes, with economic and trade cooperation becoming increasingly closer, experts noted.

“China and France eye faster growth in traditional areas including agricultural products, aviation and civilian nuclear power,” Cong said.

Under the mechanism “from French farms to Chinese tables,” the two countries have reaped fruitful achievements in agricultural products. 

As an important source of China’s agricultural and food imports, France is China’s top agricultural import market and second-largest agricultural trading partner in the EU.

For many years, France has been the largest supplier of bottled still and sparkling wines to China. According to the China Association for Imports and Export of Wines and Spirits, China’s wine imports in 2022 amounted to about $1.43 billion, with an import volume of 335,300 kiloliters, of which three countries – France, Chile and Italy – accounted for nearly 80 percent. 

In 2022, France’s wine exports to China totaled $661.9 million.

In addition, France was the first Western country to sign an air transportation agreement with China and the first Western country to cooperate with China in civilian nuclear energy, according to

“The digital economy will become an important area of economic and trade cooperation between China and France. The two sides can launch in-depth collaboration in artificial intelligence, big data, cloud computing and other fields,” Cong said.

The two countries also have extensive room for cooperation in the field of clean energy, and they can jointly develop and promote new-energy technologies to help transform the global energy structure, he noted.

Moreover, cooperation between China and France in the fields of the economy, trade, science and technology has demonstrated the broad prospects and great potential of China-EU cooperation, which has helped to enhance the confidence of both sides in cooperation between China and Europe, Cong said.