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Xi Jinping Arrives in Lyon for State Visit to France
2014-03-26

On March 25 local time, President Xi Jinping arrived in Lyon, kicking off his state visit to France.

Around 6:40pm on March 25 local time, Xi Jinping's special plane landed at the Lyon–Saint Exupéry Airport. Entrusted by French President Francois Hollande, Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius of France waited at the airport to greet Xi Jinping and his wife Mme. Peng Liyuan. Prefect of Rhône Department Jean-Francois Carenco and Mayor of Lyon Gérard Collomb greeted them as well at the airport.

Xi Jinping said, this year marks the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relationship between China and France. Over the past half century, China-France relations have withstood the test of time and always stood at the forefront of China's relations with the Western countries in an increasingly mature and stable manner. I am looking forward to the in-depth exchanges of views with President Hollande and other French leaders on bilateral relations and topics of common interest during my visit. I will have extensive contacts with people from all circles of the French society as well. We will review the successful experience over the past 50 years since the establishment of diplomatic relationship and plan for the future, to inject new vitality into the sustainable, healthy and stable development of China-France relations.

Wang Huning, Li Zhanshu, Yang Jiechi and other delegation members arrived by the same plane.

H.E. Zhai Jun, Chinese Ambassador to France, also greeted the delegation at the airport.

Xi Jinping arrived Lyon after concluding his state visit to the Netherlands and the attendance at the third Nuclear Security Summit (NSS). When he left Amsterdam, the senior officials from the government of the Netherlands bided him farewell at the airport.

France is the second stop of Xi Jinping's visit to Europe, during which he will visit the headquarters of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in Paris. Xi Jinping will then pay state visits to Germany and Belgium, and visit the European Union headquarters.

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