China calls on France to address concerns

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Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi called on France Saturday to take steps to improve bilateral relations, while expressing confidence in the long-term prospects for the ties.

BEIJING - "The current problems in China-French relations are not caused by the Chinese side. We hope France will make a positive response to the concerns of the Chinese side," he told reporters at briefing.

"I have confidence in the long-term development of Sino-French relations. It serves the common interests of both countries and is in accordance with the aspirations of both people."

French President Nicolas Sarkozy late last year angered China by meeting the Dalai Lama, Tibet's exiled spiritual leader.

Beijing retaliated with the unprecedented step of cancelling a summit with the European Union in France that was scheduled for December 1.

At the time, France held the rotating presidency of the EU. China and the European Union have since agreed to reschedule the summit.

Ties between China and France have recently also been impacted by the auction in Paris of two Chinese works of art, despite protests from Beijing.

AFP / Expatica

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