President Xi Jinping shakes hands with French President Emmanuel Macron after meeting the press at the Great Hall of the People on Tuesday in Beijing. [Photo by FENG YONGBIN/CHINA DAILY]
President Xi Jinping and his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron marked the first completion of a European pressurized water reactor at a ceremony and witnessed the signing of 20 bilateral cooperative documents after their Tuesday talk in Beijing.
The leaders, meeting at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, unveiled a plaque to mark completion of the EPR project, located at the Taishan nuclear power plant in Guangdong province. The project is a third-generation reactor and one of the most advanced in the world in terms of nuclear safety and performance.
The project, which has taken eight years to complete, is the largest cooperative project on energy completed between the two nations as well as a great example of bilateral economic cooperation, said Nur Bekri, vice-chairman of China's National Development and Reform Commission and director of China's National Energy Administration.
During his talk with Macron, Xi said that the two countries should deepen concerted efforts in their traditional fields of cooperation, including nuclear energy and aerospace.
Beijing and Paris should also nurture new highlights for growth, such as agriculture, medical care and sustainable development, Xi said.
Macron echoed Xi's call on reinforcing bilateral cooperation within the framework of building the Belt and Road, saying that such collaboration is of great strategic significance.
Paris looks to boost communication and dialogue at a high level and in various fields during this visit, reinforce cooperation in key areas such as aerospace and nuclear power, and introduce a new chapter of bilateral cooperation, Macron said.
As China will host the Winter Olympic Games in 2022 and Paris will host the 2024 Summer Games, Xi said the two countries should reinforce exchanges and cooperation in areas including tourism and youth.
Macron is making his first state visit to China from Monday to Wednesday. It is also his first trip to the country since assuming office in May last year.
The 20 deals signed by China and France on Tuesday covered areas such as nuclear power, aerospace and health.
After their talk, Xi and Macron jointly met with delegates attending the first meeting of the France-China entrepreneurs' council.
When addressing the business leaders, Xi reaffirmed China's opening-up policy as well as China's commitment to an open economy at a greater level.
China is ready to uphold reciprocal opening-up with France and with Europe, and promote the strengthening of the global economic governance system.
When jointly meeting the press, Xi said he and Macron agreed on reinforcing bilateral cooperation in the international context, jointly addressing global challenges including climate change and terrorism.
On China-Europe ties, Xi said China firmly supports the integration of Europe and welcomes France's greater contribution to China-Europe ties.
Macron said China enjoys great strength in artificial intelligence, and the two countries' cooperation on promising sectors will yield a positive influence.