Chinese leaders met with foreign leaders attending the April 30 opening ceremony of the World Expo, including French President Nicolas Sarkozy and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso.
China and France
Sino-French relations, which have gone through some setbacks in recent years, are once again on the right track, evidenced by French President Nicolas Sarkozy's recent visit to China.
During his visit from April 28 to 30, Sarkozy met with Chinese President Hu Jintao, Chairman of the Standing Committee of Chinese National People's Congress Wu Bangguo and Premier Wen Jiabao. They exchanged views on improving the China-France "all-round strategic partnership" as well as international and regional issues of mutual concern.
During talks with Sarkozy, Hu made a four-point proposal to upgrade Sino-French relations—that is, to maintain high-level exchanges, to boost pragmatic cooperation, to strengthen cultural exchanges and to meet local and global challenges together.
Hu described these talks as "candid, friendly and productive" with many important agreements at a joint press conference. China-France ties have "opened a new page," he added.
China and the EU
China and the EU charted the course for their relations in the next five years during European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso's visit from April 29 to May 1.
The visit came months after Barroso's re-election to a second five-year term and the Lisbon Treaty's entry into force.
Both China and the EU have underscored the importance of the balance between economic and social development, technology innovation and sustainable development, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said while meeting with Barosso. These shared objectives present opportunities for both sides to work together in areas such as trade, hi-tech industry and green economy, he added.
Wen also called on the EU to recognize China's market economy status as soon as possible to level the playing field for Chinese companies.
During Barroso's visit, China and the EU jointly announced the establishment of a ministerial-level dialogue and cooperation mechanism on climate change. They also inaugurated the Europe-China Clean Energy Center.