China, France should promote mutual respect between cultures, civilizations: FM
China and France, two ancient nations with splendid civilizations, share the responsibility to promote mutual respect and inclusiveness between different cultures and civilizations, and to sow the seeds of peace around the world, Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Qin Gang said on Wednesday.
Qin made the remarks when consulting French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna on the high-level dialogue mechanism on people-to-people exchanges between the two countries.
During French President Emmanuel Macron's state visit to China in April, Chinese President Xi Jinping and his French counterpart have agreed to take the 60th anniversary of China-France diplomatic ties as an opportunity to resume exchanges and cooperation across the board in such areas as culture, education, science and technology, so as to lift the bilateral relationship to a new level, Qin said.
He called on the two sides to follow through on the consensus reached by the two heads of state, make good use of the high-level people-to-people exchange mechanism, further deepen people-to-people exchanges between the two countries and enhance mutual understanding between their people.
Qin suggested the two sides focus on promoting cooperation in such fields as sports, education, language, and science and innovation, and tourism.
Facing the changes and turbulence in the international landscape, the two countries should also help remove barriers and bias between different cultures and civilizations; that's President Xi's original intention of proposing the Global Civilization Initiative, Qin added.
For her part, Colonna expressed her agreement with the suggestions of the Chinese side, saying that France attaches great importance to bilateral people-to-people exchanges.
As next year will mark the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries, with the Paris 2024 Olympic Games to be held, Colonna said, her country is ready to work with China to plan celebrations for the anniversary, and push for greater development of bilateral cooperation in tourism, sports and other fields.
France and China, both boasting a long history and a splendid culture, should strengthen cultural exchanges, including cooperating on aspects such as cultural heritage, cultural tourism, education and language, she added.
Qin arrived in France on Wednesday after a visit to Germany. The consultation was attended by heads of relevant departments in both countries.