China and France vowed reciprocal cooperation in broader areas during the first China visit of French Prime Minister Manuel Valls on Thursday.
The pledge was made during talks between Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and Valls, after which the two sides inked eleven deals of cooperation in areas including civil aviation, nuclear power plant, finance, maritime satellite, new energy automobile, environmental protection, and education.
"We have many big projects that need to be promoted, such as nuclear power, railway and aviation. We also would like to explore with France the markets in other countries," Li said in a press briefing after the talks.
Valls said France was ready to work with China to further promote cooperation in areas including aviation, nuclear energy, finance, agriculture, high speed railway, new energy automobile, and tourism.
As for the bilateral trade, a concern of the French side, Li said China never seeks trade surplus with any country. He urged France to further ease restrictions on export of high technology products to China.
"We should oppose trade protectionism and adhere to free trade, which will help our companies and industries' competitiveness," he added.
Valls said he hoped French exports could get more Chinese market access to realize a balanced trade and called for more two-way investment between the two countries.
Li hoped France could provide a more open, fair and friendly market environment for Chinese investment, which got a positive response from Valls.
Valls told the press that he will meet Chinese businessmen and investors during his stay in Beijing and Shanghai, the second leg of his China tour.
"I want to say that France welcomes Chinese investment," Valls said.
The two prime ministers also pledged to conduct more cultural and people-to-people exchanges.
On Friday, they will visit an exhibition of famous French sculptor Auguste Rodin in Beijing, which is a part of the activities marking the 50th anniversary of the China-France ties established in 1964.
As two permanent members of the UN Security Council, the two sides also vowed to conduct close communication and coordination on major international and regional affairs, including climate change, anti-terrorism, and the fight against ebola.
Li also hoped France, an important member of the European Union, will play a constructive role for the development of China-EU relations.
Valls started his official China visit from Jan. 29 to 31. This is his first China visit since taking office in March 2014.