China leader marks 50 years of ties with France
BEIJING (AFP) - China's President Xi Jinping heralded the establishment of diplomatic ties with France 50 years ago as a "historic event" on Thursday as he welcomed a top official from Paris.
The two nations are marking the establishment of ties - which in 1964 bolstered the standing of the relatively young People's Republic of China - with art exhibitions and fast-track visas to France, among other measures.
"President Mao Zedong and General de Gaulle took the historic decision to establish diplomatic relations," Mr Xi said, as he greeted National Assembly speaker Claude Bartolone at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.
"That had a profound impact on the evolution of international relations."