French President Hollande arrives in China for state visit

April 25, 2013 at 2:36 PM

BEIJING, April 25 (UPI) -- French President Francois Hollande, accompanied by a business delegation, arrived Thursday in Beijing for talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

The leaders met in the Great Hall of the People, the official Chinese news agency Xinhua reported. Xi called for stronger economic and diplomatic ties between the countries.

"The two sides should also strengthen coordination when dealing with world affairs and we are looking forward to seeing the development of a new type of China-France comprehensive and strategic partnership in the future," Xi said.

Hollande's goals on the trip include increasing French exports to China, Radio France Internationale reported. The French carmaker Renault plans to build a factory in Wuhan, and France hopes to reduce its trade deficit with China while gaining a greater share of China's foreign trade.

The schedule includes a state banquet Thursday night and a more intimate lunch on Friday.

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