On July 17, 2006, Chinese President Hu Jintao met with his French counterpart Jacques Chirac in St. Petersburg, Russia, exchanging views with him on bilateral ties, economic and technological cooperation and international development cooperation.
Hu made positive comments on bilateral ties. He said that the current ties enjoy a sound momentum of development and are among the best in the history of the relations between the two countries. Both sides have conducted close exchanges and fruitful strategic dialogue, and maintained effective cooperation on the situation on the Korean Peninsula, the Iranian nuclear issue and other major international and regional matters. Bilateral ties are of greater strategic significance. China and France will hold the activities of youth exchange year in 2006 and 2007, which will be of great significance to youth exchange and bilateral ties.
Chirac said he agreed to Hu's observation on bilateral ties, noting that France-China relations remain sound and their cooperation has achieved major progress. The A320 general assembly line of Airbus will be set up in China, which will be a new starting point for the aeronautic cooperation between the two countries. France also hopes to strengthen cooperation with China in energy technology. Chirac made positive comments on the youth exchange programs, adding that the French young people that were recently invited to China were deeply impressed by their visit. Enhancing the youth exchange will have a far-reaching impact on bilateral relations. He expressed belief that with the joint efforts of both sides, such relations will have a better future.
Hu said the bilateral aeronautic cooperation is a strategic decision, which would exert vital influence on the bilateral economic and technology cooperation. The Chinese president hoped that relevant departments of both countries would continue their efforts to launch the construction of the relevant projects at an early date. China adopts a positive approach towards cooperation with France in energy technology.
On the international solidarity levies proposed by France, Hu said China has always supported international development cooperation and appreciates and actively supports this proposal. China is ready to join the leading group for international solidarity levies to contribute to international development cooperation. Chirac thanked for China's support, adding that President Hu and his government have made important contributions to international affairs, which the French side spoke highly of.
State Councilor Tang Jiaxuan attended the meeting.