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Official speeches and statements - June 29, 2018

Published on June 29, 2018

1. Bilateral relations - China - Statements by Mr. Edouard Philippe, Prime Minister, at his joint press conference with Mr. Li Keqiang, Premier of China - Excerpts (Paris - June 25, 2018)

First of all I’d like to thank the Chinese authorities for the excellent welcome given to us - to the delegation I’m honored to lead and to me personally over these four days. We’ve had the privilege of discovering Shenzhen and the pleasure of returning to Shanghai and Beijing.

Premier Li Keqiang and I have just had an in-depth discussion, after I had a meeting during the day with Chinese President Xi Jinping and the Chairman of the National People’s Congress, Li Zhantshu. I think this first visit as Prime Minister, just over five months after the French President’s state visit, testifies to the intensity of the relations we want to have and maintain between our two countries.

My visit demonstrates our commitment to implementing, without delay and in the optimum conditions, the road map decided on by our heads of state in January. These four days in China meeting my Chinese partners, French businesses established here and the French community living in China have hugely strengthened my belief that boosting exchanges between France and China can make a useful contribution to our two countries’ peace, international development and prosperity, provided that partnership is balanced, stringent and based on a spirit of openness and reciprocity.

As the Chinese Premier and I have just discussed, France and China must together take up a number of shared global challenges: the fight against climate change - everyone here is aware of the special role played by China and France in concluding the Paris Agreement and our two states’ strong and resolute commitment to this challenge, to ways we can find solutions to this challenge, which faces our two countries, true, but more broadly the whole of mankind -, as well as protecting the environment and drawing up a Global Pact for the Environment.

These are issues we agree on, and I’d also like to welcome China’s vote in favor of the UN General Assembly’s procedural resolution in May. But there are other common challenges: regional crises, international terrorism, and the proliferation that directly threatens our security.

As you said, Premier, in the current international context there’s a temptation to turn inwards, and increasing protectionism. I clearly heard and welcomed the Chinese authorities’ opening speech, in particular, at the Boao Forum in April. Our two countries must work hand in hand to safeguard the multilateral trade system and, above all, to deal with the underlying causes of the mistrust felt by some of our fellow citizens in international trade.

In this respect, China can play a decisive role, given the state of the challenges existing, and this was the responsibility agenda - enabling us to say things clearly to each other without allowing incomprehension and mistrust to set in - which the French President proposed and which must be the approach we adopt.

At the bilateral economic level, this visit provided an opportunity to confirm genuine steps forward in historic sectors of our strategic partnership and identify new sectors for the 21st century, in particular in sustainable development and innovation.

Among the steps confirmed, I’m thinking especially of the cover letter on the planned nuclear waste reprocessing/recycling plant signed by Orano and CNNC and the imminent commercial launch of the world’s first EPR in Taishan. They confirm the strategic nature of our industrial partnership in the field, which began a very long time ago, which is lasting, is growing stronger and gives us hope that good days lie ahead of us.

Likewise, I’m thinking of the signature of the health protocol on the export of French beef to China, and the opening of the Chinese market to bovine semen. These agreements, to which the two heads of state committed themselves in January and which have been realized today, less than six months after that pledge, will enable Chinese consumers to appreciate the excellence of the French terroir. I’m also delighted that China has confirmed its strong desire soon to confirm the commitments made in January on Airbus purchases and even to contemplate new ones. (...)

In Shanghai we saw a new form of public transport, a fully automatic metro system operated by Keolis and built as part of a joint venture between the Shanghai Metro and the French transport company.

I’m also thinking of La French Tech’s significant presence in China and the possibility of more intelligent trade between major Chinese and French infrastructures. I’m thinking in particular of the agreement signed between the port of Shanghai and the major maritime port of Marseille. That’s what the make-up of the delegation of business leaders accompanying me was intended to illustrate. (...)

Finally, I’d like to recall that the France-China relationship is part of a European framework. This morning you had the opportunity, Premier, to meet the Vice-President of the European Commission; I myself had the opportunity to talk to him on the telephone after your conversation. We want to recall France’s commitment to the solid ties uniting China and the European Union, which enable these two trading partners, the leading trading partners, to look to the future, press ahead with in-depth discussions and identify what will provide the framework, I hope, for a balanced investment agreement that we sincerely wish for.

Believe me, Premier, Europe is more committed than ever to renewed multilateralism. It promotes a better regulated, fairer globalization, and I’m delighted to have been able to talk to you very directly, Premier, entirely in the spirit of Franco-Chinese cooperation, about all the issues that make up our current agenda and, in a way, our future.

Thank you very much.


2. United Nations - Mali - Adoption of UN Security Council resolution 2423 renewing MINUSMA’S mandate - Statement by Mr. Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs (Paris - June 28, 2018)

I welcome the unanimous adoption of UN Security Council resolution 2423, which renews the mandate of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA).

This resolution renews the robust mandate that the Security Council gave to MINUSMA for one year. This mandate is hierarchical, prioritizing support for the implementation of the peace and reconciliation agreement, which remains the leading objective for the stabilization of Mali, but also support for the administration’s return to central Mali, which is in the midst of a growing cycle of violence.

Resolution 2423 also asks the UN secretary-general to work on concluding a peace pact between the Malian government and the UN, which would accelerate the implementation of the Agreement on Peace and Reconciliation. It establishes clear and specific objectives for the signatories that they will have to implement within six months of the inauguration of the President of Mali following this summer’s election.

With this resolution, finally, the Security Council recognizes the complementarity of the actions conducted by the various forces operating in Mali, including the Malian forces, MINUSMA, France’s Operation Barkhane, the G5 Sahel Joint Force, and the European EUTM and EUCAP missions. They are all working toward the same objective: peace and stability in Mali and the Sahel.

I take this opportunity to reaffirm France’s full support for the efforts of MINUSMA, which is playing a role that is crucial to peace in Mali. France remains committed, alongside its partners, to stabilization in Mali.

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