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BEIJING -- Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Thursday exchanged views via phone with new French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault on their countries' relations and on international and regional issues of

common concern.

Wang congratulated Ayrault on his appointment. He said that the relations between China and France have been going well with deepening political mutual trust and mutually beneficial cooperation.

China sees France as an irreplaceable strategic partner and has always taken France as a foreign policy priority, Wang said.

He urged the two countries to maintain the strong momentum in the development of their relations, tap the potential for cooperation, boost the integration of their development strategies and explore new areas of cooperation.

China is willing to boost strategic coordination with France in international and regional affairs such as global governance and climate change, said Wang.

Ayrault said the relations between France and China are highly strategic and very important to the world. He pledged efforts to boost strategic communication with China and expand cooperation in innovation, investment, nuclear energy, and in the development of third-party markets.

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