France welcomes Chinese pledge on climate

China/bilateral relations/COP21 – Communiqué issued by the Prime Minister’s Office, following the Prime Minister’s meeting with his Chinese counterpart

Paris, 1 July 2015

“The relationship between France and China is at an exceptional level.”

Six months on from his visit to China, Manuel Valls has had a meeting at Matignon with his Chinese counterpart, Li Keqiang, who is paying a three-day visit to France. Fifteen agreements, one of which concerned the sale of 75 Airbus A330 (45 firm orders and 30 optional), were signed in the presence of the two prime ministers. The two prime ministers will close a Franco-Chinese business forum together in Toulouse on Thursday 2 July; other agreements on the creation of a completion centre in Tianjin will be signed on that occasion and during a visit to the Airbus headquarters. Manuel Valls also paid tribute to China’s commitment; it chose to announce, in Paris on Tuesday, its national contribution for the Paris Climate Conference this December.

Manuel Valls was delighted to welcome to Paris Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, who is paying his first official visit to France over three days. Manuel Valls and Li Keqiang were able to discuss progress made since January 2015, particularly on economic cross-investment and the issuing of long-term visas.

COP21: “I want to pay tribute to China’s commitment”

“We talked, among other things, about the challenges linked to climate disruption”, began Manuel Valls at a joint press conference. “To make a success of COP21, which we’re hosting at the end of the year, we’ll need all those involved to mobilize – especially China, whose commitment I want to pay tribute to.” China is a major player in the international climate negotiations. As the world’s number one greenhouse gas emitter, its participation is essential for reaching an ambitious agreement in Paris in December 2015 allowing the global temperature rise to be limited to below 2ºC.

At the Elysée on Tuesday morning, the Chinese Premier officially announced his country’s contribution to cutting CO2 emissions in the run-up to COP21. As such, he confirmed his desire to reach his country’s CO2 emissions peak “around 2030, whilst endeavouring to reach it earlier”, with the commitment to increase the share of non-fossil fuels in primary energy consumption to around 20%.

“Chinese investment is welcome in France!”

Manuel Valls called for the rebalancing of trade between China and France to continue, as he did in January, particularly through “cross-investment”. “I repeat: Chinese investment is welcome in France! We’ve just signed numerous agreements; others will be signed in Toulouse on Thursday in our presence.” A total of no fewer than 53 agreements will be concluded during Premier Li Keqiang’s visit.

This visit also provides an opportunity to make headway on partnerships in the civil nuclear and aerospace spheres, where “we are developing a wide-ranging industrial partnership. The agreement we have signed concerns the sale of 75 Airbus A330s and another will be signed in Toulouse on Thursday regarding the creation of a completion centre in Tianjin.”

The French Prime Minister urged the successes in nuclear energy and aerospace to serve as inspiration in other job- and growth-creating sectors, particularly agrifoods. He also said that the two countries have approved an agreement on Franco-Chinese cooperation in third countries. China has also agreed to recognize the geographical indication for Bordeaux wines, a “historic step forward” for Manuel Valls.

Facilitating the issuing of visas

“For two years, we have been taking important steps to facilitate the issuing of visas to Chinese nationals”, said the Prime Minister. On Laurent Fabius’s initiative, for the past 18 months all French consulates in China have been issuing individual visas in 48 hours. “We are the only country to offer this service. It has produced exceptional results: more than two million Chinese tourists visited our country last year; there will soon be five million.”

In January 2015, there was agreement with Li Keqiang about finding a solution very quickly for issuing multiple-entry visas valid for several years. This has now happened. “We decided that nationals from our two countries, French and Chinese people, would benefit more widely from long-term visas, up to five years, when they want to go and do business or go on holiday in the other country.” This decision will allow trade relations between France and China to be strengthened even further.

Finally, Manuel Valls repeated his wish for France to take 50,000 Chinese students in the near future, compared to 20,000 today.

Climate disruption/COP21/China – Meeting between M. François Hollande, President of the Republic, and the Premier of China – Communiqué issued by the Presidency of the Republic

Paris, 30 June 2015

The French President hosted the Premier of China, Mr Li Keqiang, for a meeting followed by lunch during his first official visit to France.

He welcomed the calibre and dynamism of the comprehensive Franco-Chinese strategic partnership in every sphere. Very significant progress has already been made since relations between France and China were revitalized during the French President’s state visit in 2013 and President Xi Jinping’s in 2014.

The French President welcomed China’s announcement of its national contribution for COP21, which confirms its commitment to build an “ecological civilization”. He thanked the Chinese Premier for ensuring that this announcement came from Paris, as a sign of support and confidence in COP21’s success.

In the economic sphere, the French President reiterated his desire to move forward on formative sectors of our partnership, particularly civilian nuclear energy and aerospace, and continue rebalancing our trade by increasing French businesses’ exports to China and Chinese growth- and job-creating investments in France, which are building a positive momentum.

Franco-Chinese cooperation with regard to third countries should also enable our two countries to conquer new markets together. The President and the Chinese Premier decided to create a Franco-Chinese fund for cooperation on third countries, particularly supporting projects linked to the fight against climate change and to green growth.

The Head of State welcomed the results already obtained in new sectors of cooperation, particularly agrifoods and urban development. He signalled his desire to continue financial cooperation between France and China to support the internationalization of the yuan.

He expressed his wish to build on the momentum created for developing people-to-people exchanges between France and China, particularly in the fields of academic cooperation and tourism.

Climate disruption/COP21/China/national contribution – Statement to the press by M. Laurent Fabius, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development, President of COP21 (excerpts)

Paris, 30 June 2015

Ladies and gentlemen,

The Chinese Premier is going to be meeting the French Prime Minister, and he’s had lunch with the French President. We’re going to discuss and sign a whole series of agreements which are extremely important and are going to further strengthen the link – the economic one, particularly – between China and France. (…)

There’s another very important aspect: China, which is the world’s number one greenhouse gas emitter – i.e. the number one responsible for CO2 – has decided to make its national contribution public in Paris. I’ve studied this contribution, since I’m going to be chairing COP21; it’s very important because China is pledging that its greenhouse gas emissions will peak before falling again by 2030 at the latest. Other measures are very positive: for example, there are 40 million hectares of what’s called afforestation, i.e. new areas for forest; there’s the prospect of a national carbon market being set up, which is a very positive initiative, in 2016 or 2017.

It’s very important because it means China is confirming its commitment to fighting climate disruption.

The fact that China made its contribution public on the Premier’s trip to Paris signifies how much we are preparing COP21 together, China and France side by side. (…).

Published on 06/07/2015

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