Senior Chinese legislator to attend Paris Peace Forum for peace promotion and exchanges
Published: Nov 10, 2022 12:14 AM
China-France Photo: VCG

China-France Photo: VCG

A senior Chinese legislator will attend the Paris Peace Forum and related activities in France and communicate with French people in different sectors, in a visit which is expected to promote peace and common development, the Chinese Foreign Ministry announced.

Chen Zhu, vice chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC), will attend the Paris Peace Forum and related activities on behalf of China on November 11 at the invitation of the French side, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian announced on Wednesday.

When asked to comment on China's attendance, Zhao said at a press conference on Wednesday that China attaches importance to and supports the efforts from all quarters to advance world peace and uphold multilateralism. 

It is our hope that this event will help galvanize the international community into action to practice true multilateralism, improve global governance, and promote world peace and common development, Zhao said. 

Proposed by French President Emmanuel Macron and first launched in 2018, the Paris Peace Forum aims to promote multilateral cooperation to deal with global problems. Experts said China values the platform to communicate with France and the world where representatives from governments, nongovernmental organizations, think tanks and universities can talk and seek solutions to current international and regional problems.

Regarding China-France ties, Zhao said that there has been sound momentum of growth in bilateral relations. "We stand ready to work together with France to fully implement the common understanding between our heads of state, deepen practical cooperation in various fields, and enhance communication and coordination on major international and regional issues, to promote the sound and steady development of bilateral relations," he said.

At a routine press conference of the Chinese Foreign Ministry on Friday, citing French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna, an AFP reporter said that French President Emmanuel Macron would visit China in the coming weeks or months upon China's invitation, asking Zhao for comments on the potential visit. 

In response, Zhao said that he had no information to offer at the moment.

Macron's visit, if it happens, is not surprising at all as high-level exchanges between the two countries would be smooth if it were not for the COVID-19 pandemic and some changes in the international situation, Cui Hongjian, director of the Department of European Studies at the China Institute of International Studies, told the Global Times on Wednesday.

During his first state visit to China in 2018, Macron pledged to visit China at least once every year while in office and said that he is determined to "get the Europe-China relationship into the 21st Century," according to a VOA report at that time. 

Such a declaration indicated that Macron at least had a clear understanding of France-China relations and was interested in China, Cui said. "France emphasized the strategic independence of Europe and opposes global splits and confrontations. Since this attitude is quite similar to China's, China and France can have further discussions and communications on specific issues such as the Ukraine crisis and the negative effects brought by the Russia-Ukraine conflict. There could be many areas where the two sides are very likely to reach a consensus," Cui noted.