China expects growth of ties with France

Beijing, Feb 12 (IANS) China hopes its relations with France will achieve greater development as French President Francois Hollande has nominated a new foreign minister.

Foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei on Friday said China congratulates Jean-Marc Ayrault on taking up the post of French foreign minister and stands ready to work with him to push forward bilateral ties, Xinhua reported.

Ayrault, former French prime minister, was nominated on Thursday by Hollande to replace Laurent Fabius.

As a senior statesman, Ayrault has made great contributions to the sound growth of China-France relations, Hong said.

The spokesman also spoke highly of Fabius’s role in enhancing China-France ties. Fabius has paid 12 visits to China during his tenure as foreign minister and made earnest efforts to upgrade bilateral cooperation in various fields, Hong noted.

With the concerted efforts of the Chinese and French governments and people of all circles, China-France comprehensive strategic partnership has ushered in an era of closer and enduring relationship, Hong said.

China expects Fabius to continue to work for the friendship between the two countries, said Hong.

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