50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between France and China – Statements made by Laurent Fabius to RFI (January 27, 2014)

This is an important issue; 50 years ago, General de Gaulle genuinely had a vision of the future. At the time, China wasn’t the very big economy it is today. Nevertheless, General de Gaulle wanted to recognize China; he was the first to do so, eight years before the others. China has remembered this.

Many things have happened since. We have very good relations with the country and I’d like to take the opportunity of the 50th anniversary to go further.

First of all, on the political level of course, the Chinese President will be coming to France at the end of March. On the economic level, we’ve got a great many things to do with China, and you probably know that we have a significant deficit vis-à-vis that country which we’ve got to try and clear. Finally, on the cultural level – there’s a huge number of heritage and tourist exchanges – and the education level with, among other things, student exchanges.

I am a great friend of China, I go there often and would really like China to open up more to France, more Chinese tourists to come to France and more French people to experience the wonders of China.

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