On Wednesday, 10 May 2023, Ms Catherine Colonna, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, held a meeting in Paris with Mr Qin Gang, State Councilor and Foreign Minister of the People’s Republic of China. The meeting followed up on the state visit by the Chinese President from 5 to 7 April this year, and was an opportunity to take stock of the implementation of the main conclusions of that visit.
The first priority was the full resumption of people-to-people exchanges following their interruption due to the pandemic. Mr Qin Gang was accompanied for this purpose by the Chinese Vice Ministers of Education and Culture, Mr Chen Jie and Mr Lu Yingchuan respectively, in order to prepare the next session of the high-level dialogue on people-to-people exchanges, which will take place in the second half of the year in China, ahead of the 60th anniversary of French-Chinese diplomatic relations in 2024. The two Ministers agreed to create the conditions for a smooth resumption of movement between the two countries, in particular for those in the business, academic and tourism communities. The main themes of our future cultural cooperation were also raised.
The cooperation agenda for major global challenges also gave rise to fruitful discussions, with a particular focus on biodiversity, the climate and development financing. Mr Qin Gang indicated that China would play an active role in the Summit for a New Global Financing Pact on 22 and 23 June, and would be represented at high level.
The two ministers agreed on the need to develop an economic relationship that is stronger and more balanced, and were looking forward to the upcoming high-level economic and financial dialogue.
They discussed the current international crises. Regarding the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine, Minister Colonna considered that China had an important role to play to convince Russia to return to full compliance with the Charter of the United Nations, and in particular to respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine. Minister Colonna also called on China to work towards resolving the serious proliferation crises in Iran and North Korea, by encouraging the Iranian and North Korean authorities to return to full compliance with their international obligations.