HONIARA, May 26 (Xinhua) -- Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi held a phone conversation on Thursday with newly-appointed French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna, with both sides vowing to improve bilateral ties and deepen China-EU cooperation.
Wang said France, as a major country that enjoys global influence, has always adhered to an independent foreign policy. Faced with the once-in-a-century changes taking place in the world, it is necessary for China and France to deepen their strategic coordination, Wang noted.
The heads of state of the two countries have forged solid mutual trust and friendship, and maintained close communication, which provided strategic guidance for the both countries to jointly tackle global challenges and injected stability into a turbulent world, he added.
Noting that the two heads of state agreed recently, at their phone talks, to stick to the comprehensive strategic partnership between China and France and respect each other's core interests, Wang urged both sides to jointly implement the consensus reached by the two leaders and make new efforts to advance China-France relations, deepen China-EU cooperation and improve global governance.
Calling China a key partner and friend of France, Colonna said France attaches great importance to the implementation of the important consensus reached by the two countries' leaders and an action plan for bilateral ties.
France is committed to enhancing bilateral friendship and stands ready to maintain high-level exchanges and take the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties as an opportunity to deepen practical cooperation in a wide range of areas, so as to push the France-China comprehensive strategic partnership to a new high, she said.
Wang said China-France practical cooperation across the board has not only brought benefits to both countries but also contributed to world peace and development, adding that China gives priority to the implementation of the action plan for China-France relations and stands ready to continuously add new dimensions to bilateral cooperation.
The two sides also agreed to jointly lead the positive momentum for global cooperation on climate change and biodiversity conservation, as well as work for positive outcomes in the second part of the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (COP15).
Wang said China firmly supports the European integration and backs France in playing its role as the rotating presidency of the Council of the European Union to enhance Europe's strategic autonomy.
Stressing that friendship is the defining feature of China-EU relations and cooperation is the mainstream, Wang said China and the EU are each other's partners, not rivals.
China and the EU should avoid megaphone diplomacy and carry out candid and in-depth communication on the basis of mutual respect and for the purpose of enhancing mutual understanding, he said.
Colonna said France cherishes its tradition of independent diplomacy and is committed to deepening EU-China cooperation and jointly tackling global challenges.
The two sides also exchanged views on the Ukraine issue and the situation on the Korean Peninsula.
The Russian-Ukrainian situation, Wang said, has reached a new crossroads. On the one hand, the conflict tends to be prolonged and complicated, and on the other hand, there are growing calls for peace and efforts to promote peace talks. The immediate priority is that all parties should work together to facilitate dialogue for peace, instead of fanning the flames of conflict, Wang said.
They agreed that both sides should play a constructive role to facilitate dialogue for peace in Ukraine. ■