Beijing, 24 November 2023 (TDI): France’s top diplomat, Catherine Colonna, visited Beijing to meet with Chinese Premier Li Qiang. The purpose of her visit was to discuss the Israel-Hamas conflict and explore academic and cultural exchanges between France and China.
This meeting aimed to strengthen the relationship between the two countries and promote understanding and cooperation on global issues.
Colonna’s talks in Beijing came the same day that a truce between Israel and Hamas took effect. Paris has said that the conflict in the Middle East will be high on the agenda for Colonna and her Chinese counterparts.
A French diplomatic source highlights China’s growing regional influence through its close relationship with Iran. The source urges China to work with other parties to prevent further conflict escalation.
Beijing has mediated a reconciliation between Saudi Arabia and Iran and advocated for a truce in the Israel-Hamas dispute. Premier Li met with Colonna at the People’s Palace to discuss the global responsibilities of China and France as Security Council members.
The two must strive to find answers to major challenges, particularly challenges of climate, biodiversity and anything that can ease tensions in the world, she said.
Li, in turn, noted a “positive trend of Sino-French cooperation on all fronts”. Cooperation between China and France has also injected a lot of positive energy and provided more certainty to the uncertain world today.
Colonna, along with counterpart Wang Yi, will also restart a high-level China-France dialogue on other areas of cooperation at Peking University on Friday afternoon.
Put on hold during the pandemic, the series of talks, which began in 2014, concerns subjects like scientific, cultural and sporting exchanges, tourism and questions about gender equality.
Colonna will then hold formal bilateral talks with Wang, before a joint press conference in the evening. France and China will also sign a series of agreements in areas such as education, culture, university exchanges and health, she stated.