He Guoqiang, a senior official of the Communist Party of China (CPC), late Saturday called for closer cooperation between the Chinese and French local governments to push forward the overall bilateral relationship.
He, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and secretary of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection of the CPC, is currently on a four-day official visit to France, which is designed to further promote political, economic and cultural ties.
The Chinese leader said during a meeting with Bernard Brochand, the mayor of Cannes, that he hopes China and France can fully capitalize on existing platforms of cooperation between the local governments and thus inject fresh vigor into the comprehensive strategic partnership between the two countries.
In the past few years, local governments in China and France have increased exchanges. Mechanisms like a high-level forum attended by local officials and a roundtable meeting of mayors have served as important venues for building cooperation between local governments in the two countries.
Brochand, for his part, briefed the visiting Chinese leader on some of the cooperative initiatives launched by Cannes and its Chinese sister city Sanya, a coastal city in China’s southern Hainan province.
The French official said he hopes cooperation between Cannes and Sanya can be further strengthened in the future, adding both Cannes city government and its people have always been committed to developing economic and cultural ties with China.
Cannes, with a population of 71,000, is the host city of the world-renowned Cannes film festival, which has been attended by some famous Chinese artists and film directors in the past few years.
This beautiful coastal resort town will also host the upcoming Group of 20 summit in early November. World leaders, including Chinese President Hu Jintao and his French counterpart Nicolas Sarkozy will attend the meeting.
On Sunday, He paid a visit to a local family growing grapes and then made a tour of a perfume producing company.
He arrived in Nice, some 26 km northeast of Cannes, on Saturday afternoon. After his stay in Nice and Cannes, the Chinese leader on Sunday afternoon arrived in the French capital Paris, where he is expected to hold meetings with Sarkozy and other leaders.
France is the first leg of He’s five-nation overseas trip which will also take him to Poland, Serbia, the United Arab Emirates, and Iran. He will make a stopover in Turkey after visiting Poland.