Q: Former French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault replaced Laurent Fabius as Foreign Minister in the government reshuffle announced on February 11. What is your comment on that?
A: With the concerted efforts of the Chinese and French governments and people of all circles, China-France comprehensive strategic partnership has entered a new era of closer and enduring relationship. The two countries enjoy frequent high-level mutual visits, further advancement in practical cooperation, intensive and dynamic people-to-people and cultural exchanges as well as fruitful cooperation in the international cause of peace and development.
During his tenure as Foreign Minister, Mr. Fabius has paid 12 visits to China, making earnest efforts to promote China-France comprehensive strategic partnership and taking practical cooperation between the two countries in various fields to a new level. The Chinese side highly commends that. We wish Mr. Fabius success in his new post, and hope that he would continue to work for the friendship between China and France.
Mr. Ayrault is a senior French statesman who attaches importance to and cares about China-France relations. He has made great contributions to the sound growth of the bilateral relationship when serving as Prime Minister. We congratulate him on taking up the post of Foreign Minister and would work with him to move forward China-France relations.