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FMs hail nuclear power project in UK

Reporter: Han Peng 丨 CCTV.com

11-01-2016 05:09 BJT

Chinese and French Foreign Ministers met in Beijing on Monday, after the two countries and the United Kingdom reached a landmark deal on building a nuclear power plant in England.

The Hinkley Point Nuclear Power Plant was a key issue during the two foreign ministers meeting. The project is in the United Kingdom, but it's being built and funded jointly by Chinese and French companies.

FMs hail nuclear power project in UK

Chinese and French Foreign Ministers met in Beijing on Monday

"This is a great example to the Sino-French cooperation, because we jointly bid for a project in a third country's market. We should replicate such models to other areas too, such as in Africa and Asia," said Jean-Marc Ayrault, French Foreign Minister.

Last month, the three countries reached a deal in London to start the project. Over the past three decades, the UK has not built a single nuclear plant. But analysts say as most of the coal plants in the country are expected to shut down by 2025, the UK needs a new nuclear power plant.

"China and France will particularly focus on 'whole industry chain cooperation' on nuclear energy," Chinese FM Wang Yi said.

"During our meeting, the French foreign minister reiterated his support for China's 'One Belt One Road' initiative. We hope that under the initiative, we'll discover new potential for win-win cooperation."

The initiative, which aims at reviving the ancient Silk Road, was proposed by President Xi Jinping in 2013. Since then, Beijing has been been promoting across Asia and Europe.

Also during Monday's meeting, the two foreign ministers set an ambitious goal of raising the annual number of Chinese visitors to France from one and a half million now, to five million in the next few years.

"I believe that as long as we work together toward the goal, and as long as France provides convenient conditions for visa applications and customs services, this goal will be achieved by 2020," Wang said.

Before he arrived in Beijing, French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault visited Chengdu in the southwest of China. He met with dozens of Chinese and French business representatives who are cooperating on sustainable development projects. Ayrault said they are playing an important role in implementing the landmark Paris agreement on climate change.

This is the French foreign minister's second visit to China, and fifth meeting with his Chinese counterpart, in less than a year. The two sides say frequent high-level exchanges are important to further boosting the relations between the two major powers.

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