Amid falling snows in the picturesque mountains in Hautes-Pyrenees Department in southwestern France, Chinese President Xi Jinping and his wife Peng Liyuan were warmly received by French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte Macron on Tuesday at a mountain restaurant for a restricted meeting.

Together, they watched a traditional folk dance performance by local villagers before lunch at L’Etape du Berger, which is located at Col du Tourmalet, a legendary climb in the Tour de France cycling race.

With snowflakes flying outside and clouds stretching across the sky, the two presidents and their wives sat next to the window gazing at the mountains in the distance while tasting local delicacies. In a relaxing and cordial atmosphere, they had strategic communication on a number of important issues critical to the world.

Xi pointed out that the Chinese civilization is the only one that has continued uninterrupted for more than 5,000 years. That is why the Chinese people have a strong commitment to their country, especially when it comes to national unification which they value and cherish.

Xi said although the Chinese and French civilizations, one in the East and the other in the West, have different values and social systems, both are committed to inter-civilization exchanges and mutual learning.
The two sides could coexist in harmony without seeking uniformity, Xi said, adding that through dialogue and cooperation, they could make new contributions to world peace and development and human progress.

China is ready to work with France and Europe to enhance people-to-people exchanges, deepen economic and trade cooperation, build the right perception of each other, and solidify and carry forward the stories of friendship between the Chinese people and the people of France and Europe, Xi said.
For his part, Macron recalled his visit to China last year, especially the meeting at the Pine Garden in Guangzhou, south China’s Guangdong Province, which left him with a deep and wonderful impression.
Through in-depth exchanges with Xi, Macron said, he learned more about China’s history, culture, philosophy, and development process and gained a deeper understanding of China’s position on important issues.
Given the uncertainties in the current international situation, Macron said it is vital that Europe maintains strategic autonomy, solidarity and unity, adding that it is also critical that Europe develop a sound relationship with China and enhance their bilateral and multilateral cooperation.
Noting France and China are both permanent members of the UN Security Council, Macron expressed his readiness to maintain close communication with Xi and play a positive role in upholding peace and stability in Europe and the world.
Expressing gratitude to Macron and his wife for their warm hospitality and thoughtful arrangements, Xi said he and his wife had a wonderful and unforgettable time.
Xi expressed his readiness to have frequent interactions with President Macron and to work with him for sound and steady growth of China-France and China-EU relations and to bring more stability and positive energy to this changing and turbulent world.
Xi extended an invitation to Macron for another visit to China at a convenient time.
Before they parted, the local villagers started singing a shepherd’s song, expressing gratitude to Xi and his wife for their visit and inviting them to come back another time.
Deeply impressed by the beautiful landscape and specialty food, Xi said he welcomes more high-quality agrifood from France to the Chinese market and visits by more friendly French people to China.
After the meeting, Macron and Brigitte accompanied Xi and Peng on their way from Col du Tourmalet to Tarbes, Hautes-Pyrenees Department of France, and held an official farewell ceremony at the airport.
On Tuesday night, Xi, having concluded his visit to France, arrived in Belgrade and commenced his state visit to Serbia at the invitation of Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic.

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