The recognition of the People’s Republic of China in 1964 was the starting point of official relations between the People’s Republic of China and the French Republic. France was thus the first major Western country to appoint a full-fledged ambassador to Beijing. The French-Chinese relationship, which was termed a "full partnership" in the Joint Statement of 16 May 1997, rose to the level of a "comprehensive strategic partnership" in 2004. The French-Chinese Partnership, which is confirmed at each high-level bilateral meeting, is based on the belief that a dialogue of confidence with China is likely to further the country’s change towards a more sustainable development model founded on the rule of law and that will help to foster peace and prosperity at international level. In 2014, France and China commemorated the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries. All the aspects of the French-Chinese relationship have been illustrated by more than 800 events.
The comprehensive strategic partnership between France and China is fuelled by an intense series of high-level bilateral visits. The Heads of State meet on a regular basis, during State visits, official visits or on the sidelines of major international summits. The President of the French Republic made a State visit to China in April 2013, and the Prime Minister visited China in January 2015. The French Minister of Foreign Affairs has made 11 visits to China: he visited Beijing in July 2012, Beijing and Shanghai in April 2013, Beijing in September 2013, Beijing, Fuzhou and Tianjin in February 2014, Beijing, Hangzhou and Shanghai in May 2014, Beijing and Shanghai in October 2014, Beijing and Tianjin in May 2015, and Beijing in September 2015. The Chinese President Xi JInping made a State visit to France in March 2014. A medium- to long-term cooperation plan adopted on the occasion of that visit provided operational guidelines for the French-Chinese Partnership. The Chinese Prime Minister visited France from 29 June to 2 July 2015. The adoption on that occasion of a joint statement on civil nuclear energy cooperation and of a joint statement on partnerships in third-party markets demonstrated the will of both our countries to strengthen their comprehensive partnership. The Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr Wang Yi visited France in October 2013.
The French-Chinese relationship is developing in three priority areas: strengthen political dialogue, work to rebalance economic relations in a spirit of reciprocity and encourage greater exchanges between civil societies, in particular between young people from the two countries. France’s partnership with China is structured by a number of mechanisms for dialogue. The latest session of the France-China Strategic Dialogue (created in 2001) convened in Beijing on 15 September 2015. The third session of the High-Level Economic and Financial Dialogue (created in 2013) convened on 18 September 2015 in Beijing on the occasion of the visit to China of the French Minister of Finance and Public Accounts. The High-level People-to-People Dialogue endorsed during President Xi Jinping’s State visit was launched on 18 September 2014 on the occasion of the visit to France by Ms Liu Yandong, China’s Vice Premier with responsibility for education, health, sport and culture. The Dialogue’s second session took place in Beijing in May 2015.
The intensity of the political dialogue between the two countries is reflected in the coordination on key international and global issues (such as climate change, global economic, financial and monetary governance, and regional crises) which is central to French-Chinese relations. In all these fields, China is now a key stakeholder. Such coordination enables the two countries to make use of their points of convergence in the major international forums and to deepen discussions of points on which they diverge.
At bilateral level, the development of the French-Chinese global strategic partnership has deepened structuring forms of economic and industrial cooperation, particularly in the aviation and civil nuclear energy sectors in which genuine partnerships have been developed.
This cooperation was conducted based on the principles of reciprocity and mutual benefit. The French-Chinese relationship is developing also in new promising areas like the environment and sustainable development, agrifood, health and financial services.
Visite the website of the French Embassy in China