On Saturday, 29 August 2020, Mr Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, received Mr Wang Yi, State Councillor, and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China.
This meeting, following a number of telephone calls between the two Ministers since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, was an opportunity to mark the two countries’ determination to continue coordinating to respond to the pandemic and its consequences for our bilateral exchanges. Mr Le Drian addressed the situation of the French community, whose return to China under the best conditions is a priority.
Building on President Macron’s state visit to China in November 2019, the Minister mentioned progress on trade as regards market access, particularly in the agrifood sector. The discussions also covered the aeronautics and civil nuclear sectors, which are pillars of our trade relationship.
With an eye on upcoming Europe-China meetings, Mr Le Drian highlighted the expectations of the European Union and its Member States, particularly concerning global issues. As the two countries intend to defend an ambitious approach to the climate and biodiversity, the two Ministers discussed the upcoming COP26 climate conference in Glasgow, as well as the World Conservation Congress of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in Marseille and the 15th session Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity, to be held in Kunming.
The situation in Mali, Lebanon and North Korea were discussed, as well as the Iran crisis, given the responsibility of France and China with regard to international peace and security as permanent members of the UN Security Council. Minister Le Drian reiterated our position on compliance with international law in the South China Sea.
The Minister recalled France’s serious concerns as to the worsening human rights situation in China, particularly in Hong Kong and Xinjiang.