China and France pledged Wednesday to repair damaged ties, restore high-level talks and cooperate on economic issues, Reuters reported. “Both sides reaffirm the high importance of Sino-French relations and are willing to strengthen the all-round strategic partnership on the basis of mutual respect and paying attention to each side’s basic interests,” a joint statement published on China’s Foreign Ministry website said. The statement added that France does not support independence for Tibet. Bilateral relations began to deteriorate last year after the Paris leg of the Olympic torch relay was disrupted by pro-Tibet activists. Paris’ decision to make Tibet’s spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, an honorary citizen led to sporadic boycotts of French firms operating in China.
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