Supervisor Elham AbolFateh
Editor in Chief Mohamed Wadie

China's Xi Jinping, France's Macron Hold Restricted Meeting in Hautes-Pyrénées

Wed 08 May 2024 | 09:01 AM
Rana Atef

On May 7 local time, at the special invitation of French President Emmanuel Macron, President Xi Jinping flew from Paris to Hautes-Pyrénées for a visit in this department in southwestern France.

President Macron and his wife Brigitte Macron arrived in advance. Together with Prefect of Hautes-Pyrénées Department Jean Salomon and other local government representatives, the couple welcomed President Xi and his wife at the airport in Tarbes for a visit to Hautes-Pyrénées, a place of special significance to President Macron.

At the intersection of spring and summer, streams formed with snowmelt are flowing down from the mountains in the south of France. The landscape is decorated by blossoming flowers and green swathes of grassland.

President Emmanuel Macron and Madame Brigitte Macron received President Xi Jinping and Madame Peng Liyuan at L’Étape du Berger that is located at Col du Tourmalet. Together, they watched a performance by local villagers of the shepherd’ s dance which is unique to southern France, and took a group photo with the performers.

With snowflakes flying outside and clouds stretching across the sky, the two Presidents and their wives sat next to the window gazing at the mountains in the distance while tasting local delicacies. In a relaxing and cordial atmosphere, they had strategic communication on a number of important issues critical to the world.

President Xi pointed out that the Chinese civilization is the only one that has continued uninterrupted for more than 5,000 years. That is why the Chinese people have a strong commitment to their country, especially when it comes to national unification which they value and cherish. There are a lot of Chinese who have lived overseas for years but remain deeply patriotic and proud of the continued development of their motherland. President Xi recalled that during his overseas trips he often saw a lot of Chinese living and studying abroad lining the streets to welcome him. 

Noting that China has now achieved its First Centenary Goal, he expressed his confidence in China achieving the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation with the continued hard work of the Chinese people. Although the Chinese and French civilizations, one in the East and the other in the West, have different values and social systems, both are committed to inter-civilization exchanges and mutual learning. 

The two sides could coexist in harmony without seeking uniformity. Through dialogue and cooperation, they could make new contributions to world peace and development and human progress. China is ready to work with France and Europe to enhance people-to-people exchanges, deepen economic and trade cooperation, build the right perception of each other, and solidify and carry forward the stories of friendship between the Chinese people and the people of France and Europe.

President Macron recalled his visit to China last year, especially the meeting at Songyuan of Guangzhou which left him with a deep and wonderful impression. Through in-depth exchanges with President Xi, he learned more about China’s history, culture, philosophy, and development process and gained a deeper understanding of China’s position on important issues. Given the uncertainties in the current international situation, it is vital that Europe maintains strategic autonomy, solidarity and unity. 

It is also critical that Europe develop a sound relationship with China and enhance their bilateral and multilateral cooperation. France and China are both permanent members of the UN Security Council. He expressed his readiness to maintain close communication with President Xi Jinping and play a positive role in upholding peace and stability in Europe and the world.

Noting the wonderful time the two couples spent together, President Xi thanked President Macron and his wife for their warm hospitality and thoughtful arrangements. He expressed his readiness to have frequent interactions with President Macron and to work with him for sound and steady growth of China-France and China-EU relations and to bring more stability and positive energy to this changing and turbulent world. He extended an invitation to President Macron for another visit to China at a convenient time.

Before they parted, the local villagers started singing a shepherd’s song, expressing gratitude to President Xi and Madame Peng for their visit and inviting them to come back another time.

President Xi said that the beautiful landscape and specialty food had left him with a deep impression. He welcomes more high-quality agrifood from France to the Chinese market and visits by more friendly French people to China.

President Macron and Madame Brigitte Macron accompanied President Xi and Madame Peng on their way from Col du Tourmalet to Tarbes. An official farewell ceremony was held at the airport. The two Presidents agreed to meet again in Beijing.

On the same evening, President Xi, having concluded his visit to France, arrived in Belgrade and commenced his state visit to Serbia at the invitation of Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić.