Newly minted French President Francois Hollande started things off with a strategic visit to China, discussing bilateral trade as the Eurozone braces for another round of economic unrest.
China Daily News reports that Hollande flew East on Monday:
“Hollande met China’s ambassador to the country, Kong Quan, on Monday, and both expressed willingness to further strengthen political and economic ties between their nations.
Hollande told Kong that France is willing to advance its trade relationship with China and expand the volume of bilateral investment.
The incoming leader stressed that France has attached great importance to the role China plays in the world’s political and economic arenas and hopes to continue to work with Beijing in the Group of 20 framework while deepening cooperation on key international and regional issues.”
This is Hollande’s first visit to a foreign envoy since winning the election and defeating conservative leader Nicolas Sarkozy two days ago.
A Xinhua commentator says it’s an important step forward for France, which has taken a thrashing in the repeated financial crises rocking Europe:
“In his endeavors, the new host of Elysee Palace will find in China a trustworthy partner both in improving bilateral and broader Europe-China relations and in tackling major challenges and pursuing common development.
China is a long-time cooperation partner of France, with bilateral ties having been witnessing steady progress. As has been amply proved, a closer China-France partnership carries a benefit and significance well beyond their borders.
Thus it is highly expected that the new French leadership will act in concert with its Chinese counterpart to further explore their cooperation potential and push bilateral relations further forward.”
What do you think? Wise move, or should Hollande work harder at winning Germany’s favour?
Read more on France, China, America and beyond in the latest edition of Carnet Atlantique!