China, France pledge to deepen cooperation at virtual dialogue
Published: Dec 13, 2021 10:12 PM
China France File photo: cnsphoto

File photo: cnsphoto

China and France pledged to deepen bilateral economic and financial cooperation during a virtual economic dialogue on Monday, where officials vowed to collaborate in areas such as finance, nuclear energy, aviation and environmental protection.

The extensive outcome of the 8th China-France High Level Economic and Finance Dialogue underscored pragmatic and resilient cooperation between the two countries at a time when some European countries adopt a hostile approach toward China, analysts noted.

Chinese Vice Premier Hu Chunhua and French Economy and Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire co-chaired the meeting virtually on Monday, according to a statement released by China's Ministry of Finance. 

The two sides reached substantial cooperation agreements in finance, nuclear energy, aviation, environmental protection and other areas. 

Specifically, both countries will fully support the applications of eligible French financial institutions to establish wholly owned securities firms in China. 

China also welcomes French banks to set up joint venture wealth management companies together with subsidiaries of Chinese banks in line with Chinese regulations. 

As for their bilateral nuclear partnership, China and France will renew the Protocol on Peaceful Use of Nuclear Energy for three additional years in 2022, while placing a greater emphasis on nuclear safety. 

Both China and France will enhance air connectivity, a key to promoting and developing bilateral economic ties, and promote the issuance of certifications for the ATR 42-600 aircraft and Airbus helicopter H175 at the earliest date, while making progress in other aviation projects.

When it comes to further cooperation on environmental protection, both sides are preparing to sign agreements for several projects in Kaihua in East China's Zhejiang Province, Wuhan in Central China's Hubei Province, and Tengchong in Southwest China's Yunnan Province. 

While China-Europe relations encountered more complexities this year, there is also positive energy, embodied by the China-France economic talks, Zhao Junjie, a research fellow at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences' Institute of European Studies, told the Global Times on Monday. 

"The fruitful outcome of the talks showed France's pragmatic and independent China policy, which is gratifying and exemplary," Zhao stressed. 

Analysts noted that France plays a major role in the EU at present, and next year, it will chair the council of the EU. French President Emmanuel Macron has advocated "strategic autonomy" for Europe for a long time. 

"China and France are trying to improve China-EU relations, and I hope the new German government could do the same, especially in the areas of finance, green energy, aviation and internationalization of the yuan and the euro," Zhao said. 

The expert added that "these moves will benefit the sound development of China-EU relations next year and hopefully, a bilateral investment deal could be implemented as soon as possible."