Paris, July 4, 2012
Excerpt from the daily press briefing by Bernard Valero, French Ministry of Foreign Affairs’spokesman (Paris, 4th July 2012)
Visit by M. Laurent Fabius to Japan and China (7-10 July 2012)
The Minister of Foreign Affairs will visit Japan and China from 7 to 10 July.
In Tokyo on 7 and 8 July, he will take part in the ministerial conference on Afghanistan, which – 10 years after the Tokyo conference on reconstruction – should enable the international community’s long-term support in the field of civilian cooperation to be reasserted. Indeed, following the transition period in 2014 Afghanistan will enter a decade of transformation towards economic and social development, based on her own resources and the development of her wealth – particularly her mineral wealth – thanks to private investment.
France, who on 27 January signed a 20-year friendship and cooperation treaty with Afghanistan, will play her full role in the effort to support Afghanistan’s development. A five-year cooperation programme has already started being implemented this year. At the Tokyo conference, the Minister will set out our contribution to this commitment made by the whole international community, represented by more than 60 states and organizations.
The Minister’s visit to Japan is also aimed at maintaining and giving fresh impetus to the excellent momentum of the relationship between France and Japan, who are strategic partners. The Minister will have bilateral meetings with the Prime Minister, Mr Yoshihiko Noda, and his own counterpart, Mr Kōichirō Gemba. These meetings will follow President Hollande’s recent meeting with Mr Noda, on the sidelines of the G8 summit at Camp David, and the Minister’s meeting with Mr Gemba, on the sidelines of the NATO summit in Chicago in May.
The Minister will also meet Japanese investors who already have a presence or projects in France.
M. Laurent Fabius will visit the site of the new French international lycée in Tokyo, where he will meet Japan’s French community.
On 9 and 10 July, the Minister will visit China on the invitation of his Chinese counterpart, Mr Yang Jiechi, with whom he will discuss the bilateral relationship as a whole and the major international and global issues. He will also meet Mr Dai Bingguo, State Councillor responsible for foreign affairs, Mr Wen Jiabao, Premier, and Mr Li Keqiang, First Vice Premier.
During his stay in Beijing, the Minister will visit the Ecole centrale de Pékin, a Franco-Chinese engineering school created in cooperation with the Groupe des Ecoles Centrales and Beihang University, and will deliver a speech to the students. The Minister will meet representatives of Chinese companies and investors, as well as representatives of the French business community in China.
The visit is the first by a Minister to China since the government was formed. It builds on the meeting between President Hollande and his Chinese opposite number on the sidelines of the G20 summit, on 18 June, during which President Hollande expressed his determination to take the Franco-Chinese relationship onto a new level.