China, France Should “Lead By Example” Of Multilateralism, Former Prime Minister Says

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Laurent Fabius pictured with Wang Yi in May, met with the Chinese diplomat on Saturday to discuss trade and politics. Goh Chai Hin-Pool / Getty Images

Laurent Fabius pictured with Wang Yi in May, met with the Chinese diplomat on Saturday to discuss trade and politics. Goh Chai Hin-Pool / Getty Images

China and France should lead the way in multilateralism, former French Prime Minister Laurent Fabius said after meeting with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Saturday.Wang also stressed the importance of multilateralism as the world tackles the coronavirus.

“It is extremely important that we set an example of multilateralism and excellent relations in a balanced world,” said Fabius, Prime Minister of France from 1984 to 1986, and who is today president of the country’s constitutional council. .

The highest Chinese diplomat met Fabius at the Constitutional Council in Paris, the last stop of his European tour in five countries. The two discussed bilateral relations and areas where countries could cooperate more closely.

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“There are many areas where cooperation is needed: the economy, the environment, international relations in general,” said Fabius, as he walked towards the meeting.

“In my opinion, China, France and Europe are balancing powers. There are a lot of risks, obviously we will see the results of the American elections. This is important not only for the United States, but for the rest of the world but in any case, we need Europe and China to cooperate in order to have a harmonious and balanced world. “

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Wang believes that providing COVID-19 vaccines to vulnerable countries is an example of how EU countries and China need to work together.

“China, France and the EU should strengthen their cooperation to contain the pandemic and support multilateralism,” Wang said.

“They should make sure African countries have access and can afford coronavirus vaccines. ”

Wang also added China’s commitment to the Paris Climate Agreement and “cooperation to help the global economy recover” from the coronavirus.

Wang Yi welcomes Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg and Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Soreide during his diplomatic tour. Heiko Junge / NTB Scanpix / AFP

Wang Yi welcomes Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg and Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Soreide during his diplomatic tour. Heiko Junge / NTB Scanpix / AFP

Wang Yi Tours Europe

Wang met with French President Emmanuel Macron on Friday, where discussions focused on investment, trade and the coronavirus. Both sides have expressed their readiness to promote bilateral cooperation.

In the short term, the focus is on developing a vaccine against the coronavirus and making it affordable and accessible to everyone. In May, Chinese President Xi Jinping pledged to make a vaccine developed by China “a global public good,” which Macron said he appreciated.

Wang was also due to meet his French counterpart Jean Yves le Drian, where an agricultural agreement was to be signed.

Paris is the fourth stop on Wang’s European tour. He has already made visits to Italy, the Netherlands and Norway and will visit Germany on Sunday.

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The tour, which is Wang’s first overseas trip since the coronavirus outbreak began, is an opportunity to reignite conversations about trade, bilateral companies and investments, which have largely been on the back burner. as world leaders focused on tackling the pandemic.

The trip is also an opportunity to ease tensions between China and Europe that arose during the pandemic.

The EU has expressed “serious concerns” over Hong Kong’s national security law, which Beijing says fills a security gap. A number of European leaders are also under pressure, particularly from the United States, to ban Chinese technology from their 5G networks. France laid the groundwork to eliminate Huawei from its 5G plans last month.

There are delicate issues to be resolved, but strengthening relations is a top priority for China and the EU.

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