China, France Promote Regional Cooperation

Authors: Go Chengdu


The 5th Sino-French Regional Cooperation Forum was held in Chengdu on October 30.
The 5th Sino-French Regional Cooperation Forum, themed Regional Cooperation, New Engine of Sino-France Relations, was held in Chengdu on October 30, with the attendance of nearly 900 Chinese and French delegates, who discussed in depth six topics focusing on sustainable development, healthcare and pension, cooperation and development in education, regional innovation, cooperation and development in tourism, as well as conservation and protection of historical and cultural relics.
"Relations between local governments play a vital role in Sino-French cooperation," said Jean-Marc Ayrault, Minister of Foreign Affairs of France at the opening ceremony for the event, adding that the more frequent contact between top officials of China and France in recent years has enriched the collaboration between local governments of both countries. As early as in 1981, Montpellier and Chengdu established a sister-city relationship.
"Up to now, 55 local governments of France have forged a partnership with 54 of their Chinese counterparts, involving over 130 programs associated with education, scientific research and cultural heritage development." Mr. Ayrault said the Sino-French regional cooperation has seen remarkable progress in recent years, strengthening the Sino-French partnership. He hoped that the forum could play a better role in promoting the Sino-French cooperation.
On the afternoon of October 30, after the opening ceremony of the Sino-French Regional Cooperation Forum, Mr. Ayrault visited Wenshu Monastery to experience the history and culture of Chengdu and local people's life.
"Chengdu is a huge city and I'm highly impressed by it. It's good to communicate with the local people here, who gave me a warm welcome, " he said with a smile.
In the street near to the monastery, Mr. Aryault bought a delicate Gourd Cucurbit Flute, a traditional Chinese musical instrument. He expressed China and France share lots of common grounds. "We are both old nations with ancient civilization, long history and brilliant culture. France has a plenty of must-visit cultural legacies including castles, churches and structures. Like China, it highly values its history and carries forward its old and modern cultures perseverely."
"Sichuan is a very typical Chinese province. I very much look forward to visiting other places in Sichuan in the future." Talking about the economic and social development of Sichuan, Mr. Aryault said that with profound culture and civilization, Sichuan is also dynamic economically.

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