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Jean-Pierre Raffarin Will Lead French Delegation to Beijing Belt and Road Forum, ‘a Peaceful Project for World Development’

May 9, 2017 (Nouvelle Solidarité)—In a May 5 Xinhua interview, former French Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin, who now chairs the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee, states that he will be leading the French delegation to the Belt and Road Forum in Beijing on May 14-15. China-lover Raffarin was chosen to participate in the high-level Forum, because France will be inaugurating its new President, Emmanuel Macron, that weekend.

Speaking with Chinese media, Raffarin presents the Belt and Road Initiative as "a peaceful project for world development."

"I expect with this great summit" with 28 heads of state and government and more than 100 nations and international organizations represented,

"the entire world will learn about this project, which involves not only Central Asia, but also West and East Asia, as well as Europe and even Africa. What I would like is a world mobilization."

"The world is very dangerous, and I’m very worried about the unpredictability of the United States, given what is happening in Syria and Iraq.... In that dangerous world, China has projects and strategies, it seeks multilateralism, defends the UN and UNESCO, and thereby contributes to peace in a dangerous world.

"Today we are in an international situation where our American allies are particularly uncertain. It is difficult to have friendship amid uncertainty,"

he regretted.

"Thus we have the vision of a world which is in the process of erecting a new framework and a new organization, the Belt and Road Initiative is the framework of a new world, a world that is a grand alliance between Europe and Asia with a grand opening towards Africa and there will be a new distribution of geopolitics,"

he said.

With this initiative, China is contributing to the connectivity of most of the world and "to creating links, creating relations, and creating development." One can only fight war by means of development, by participating in the development of the world, he said, and continued:

"France and China have the same peaceful vision of the world, we are countries that want peace in the world in order to have development."

Raffarin said that the great challenge for win-win international development is the struggle against protectionism and excessive nationalism. Instead of closing down borders, we must carry out a win-win cooperation and promote peace through development in the world. Raffarin noted the lack of knowledge of the Belt and Road Initiative in the West and called for pursuing the

"promotion, the communication, the explanation about the subject, to let it be known that this great initiative involves the future of all Europe."

As for Franco-Chinese relations, Raffarin said the two peoples were close and the countries tied through a durable friendship.

"Since General de Gaulle, we have always ensured that the France-China relation should prevail above political parties, and the ongoing Presidential election would not play any role in the deterioration of those relations. We want a good relationship, there is consensus on that question,"

he concluded.