China, France vow to promote `multipolar` world
China`s President Xi Jinping and France`s President Francois Hollande pledged to push for a world free of domination by any superpower.
Beijing: China`s President Xi Jinping and France`s President Francois Hollande pledged to push for a world free of domination by any superpower on Thursday as the French leader visited the Chinese capital on a mission to boost trade amid his country`s worsening economic woes.
Both leaders stressed their desire for a "multipolar" world that would dilute Washington`s influence though they did not mention the US in their comments.
"China and France are both great countries with a strong sense of independence," Xi said at a news conference, adding that the two countries would "actively promote a multipolar world and the democratisation of international relations."
Xi and Hollande, who is travelling with a delegation representing scores of French businesses, spoke to reporters after meeting at Beijing`s Great Hall of the People.
"China and France both want a multipolar world. We want there to be a balance. We refuse a world of powers, and of superpowers," Hollande said. "When China and France agree on a position, we can drive the world."
Officials from the two countries signed an agreement for China to buy 60 planes from France-based Airbus. French businesses hit by domestic declines are hoping for additional deals in China in areas including car making, nuclear energy and food exports. France registered a USD 34 billion trade deficit with China last year and accounts for less than 2 per cent of the Asian giant`s foreign trade.
"There is an imbalance in our foreign trade, and we hope to correct that," Hollande said. "Not by reducing our investment and exports, but by increasing them further, and we will be discussing this throughout our meetings and this trip."
At a second news conference later in the day, Hollande said his talks with Xi had touched on human rights and the recent string of self-immolations among Tibetans protesting Chinese rule.
"Let me say again, we discussed all the issues. Moreover, it was in a very frank and mutually respectful manner. This entirely serves the friendly relations between the people of our countries," he said.