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Hu puts emphasis on better French ties

PRESIDENT Hu Jintao reaffirmed yesterday that the Chinese government places great importance on its relations with France.

"We will work with France to advance the healthy and stable growth of a bilateral comprehensive strategic partnership," Hu told visiting Speaker of the French National Assembly Bernard Accoyer.

The Chinese government supports increased cooperation between the two countries' legislative bodies, Hu said, expressing the hope that more French parliament members will contribute to promoting the strategic partnership.

Accoyer replied that France values its ties with China.

Relations deteriorated in December when French President Nicolas Sarkozy met with the Dalai Lama in Poland.

China and France issued a press statement on April 1 saying the two nations "attach great importance to China-France relations" and reiterating adherence to the principle of non-interference in each other's internal affairs.

In the statement, France pledged it would not support "Tibet independence" in any form.

President Hu and Sarkozy met in London ahead of the recent Group of 20 summit on the global financial crisis.

The meeting between the two leaders opened a new chapter in bilateral relations, Accoyer noted, whose visit to China began last Sunday and is scheduled to end tomorrow.

In addition to the Chinese capital, Accoyer also visited north China's Tianjin Municipality, south China's boomtown Shenzhen and China's financial hub Shanghai, reviewing the Sino-French cooperation projects in the aircraft industry and nuclear power plants.


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