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Special> 50th Anniversary of Sino-French Diplomatic Relations > Timeline
UPDATED: January 16, 2014
Timeline of China-France Relations


January 27, 1964: China and France establish diplomatic relations. France becomes the first major Western nation to recognize the New China.

September 11-17, 1973: President Georges Pompidou is the first French president to visit China.

May 12-18, 1975: Chinese Vice Premier Deng Xiaoping visits France, making France the destination of the first official visit to a major Western state by a Chinese leader.

January 19-24, 1978: China and France sign their first scientific cooperation agreement in China.

October 15-18, 1979: Chinese Premier Hua Guofeng visits France, which is the first time for a Chinese premier. The two countries sign several documents in cultural exchange.

October 15-21, 1980: China and France sign an agreement in China to establish consulates in Shanghai and Marseille.

November 7-12, 1987: Chinese President Li Xiannian visits France, the first time for a Chinese president.

September 27, 1991: France sells six Lafayette-class missile frigates to Taiwan, severely damaging bilateral relations.

January 12, 1994: China and France issue the Joint Communiqué, in which France commit to cease arming Taiwan, thus re-stabilizing the ties.

September 8-14, 1994: Chinese President Jiang Zemin pays a visit to France during the 30th anniversary of China-France diplomatic relations. The two countries agree to develop bilateral relations on an equal and mutually-beneficial basis in the 21st century.

May 16, 1997: Chinese President Jiang Zemin and visiting French President Jacques Chirac sign a joint statement, deciding to establish full partnership towards the 21st century.

November 29, 2002: China sets up a cultural center in Paris, the first of its kind in Western Europe.

April 25-26, 2003: French Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin visits China in support of China's fight against the outbreak of a severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS).

October 6, 2003: The Chinese Culture Year is launched in France. It is the first time that the Chinese Culture Year has gone abroad.

2003: Trade volume between China and France surpasses $10 billion for the first time, hitting $13.39 billion.

January 26-29, 2004: Chinese President Hu Jintao pays a three-day visit to France, during which the two countries forge a comprehensive strategic partnership, opening a new chapter in China-France relations.

October 2004: The French Culture Year is launched in China. During the year, some 300 activities are held around China, celebrating the spirit of romance and innovation.

November 25-27, 2007: French President Nicolas Sarkozy visits China for the first time after taking office in May.

2009: France becomes China's fourth biggest trading partner within the European Union, while China is France's No. 1 trading partner in Asia.

April 25-26, 2013: French President Francois Hollande visits China after he is elected President in May 2012.

(Compiled by Beijing Review)

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