China says 'ready to work' with new French president
Posted Monday, May 7 2012 at 10:54
Beijing, China, Monday
China said Monday it was ready to work with France after the election of Socialist Francois Hollande as president, amid concerns his victory could derail Paris's deficit-cutting plan.
The 57-year-old Socialist won power Sunday in a close race against France's outgoing right-wing leader Nicolas Sarkozy, triggering joyful street parties, and now faces the immediate challenge of dealing with Europe's debt crisis.
"China is ready to work together with the French side... To deal with bilateral relations from a strategic and long term perspective," said foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei at a briefing.
"China believes that maintaining a positive momentum of the healthy and steady development of China-France relations not only serves the fundamental interests of the two countries and two peoples, but also world peace, stability and development."
Asian markets and the euro slumped on Monday amid concerns that victories for Hollande in France and for opposition parties in Greece marked a backlash against austerity measures designed to contain the eurozone crisis.
The results led to concerns in Japan and China, which hold huge euro-denominated debt. Tokyo has said it will monitor Hollande's economic policies closely.
Hollande has vowed to slow the pace of Sarkozy's public spending cuts and renegotiate the EU fiscal pact, under which the 17 members of the single currency bloc agreed tough measures to slash their deficits.