France and China can choose to enter a "long march" towards the vision of building a community with a shared future for mankind, as both countries had in history "put themselves at the service of an ideal of universalism bigger than their immediate interests."
David Gosset, a senior expert on international relations and founder of the Europe-China Forum, made the remarks in a recent interview with Xinhua.
French President Emmanuel Macron left Paris Sunday afternoon for his first state visit to China, making him the first European leader to visit the country since last autumn's 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China.
Macron's visit will reveal not only his conception of France, of the European Union (EU) and of his partner on the other side of the Atlantic, but "his global approach to our time," said Gosset.
The energy and inspiration of 40-year-old Macron, who appears as a new force, will contribute to the dynamics of the bilateral relationship, the expert said.
The French president can be a "messenger" within the Western world of the idea that a rising China is an opportunity for Europe and a decisive factor in the equation for solving major global problems, he added.
On China-France cooperation at a global level, the expert highlighted the link between qualitative growth, the post-carbon economy, and the Belt and Road Initiative, adding that the link is one of the points where Paris and Beijing can demonstrate that an "ecological civilization" must be built for the planet.
"The two countries must co-invest substantially under the framework of the Belt and Road in cooperation projects on the African continent.Wherever possible, they must act for the realization of sustainable new Silk Roads," said Gosset.
The expert also said through the joint efforts of Paris and Beijing, a mechanism needs to be established to bring together the EU, the African Union and China, which could better coordinate actions related to the African continent.
Gosset said the current international situation calls on the two ancient nations to act in new directions and to think about "the principles for the architecture of the world to come," in addition to strengthening cooperation in traditional fields like trade, education, science and arts.
"When France and China reflect together upon a changing world and try to make sense of it, the Franco-Chinese relationship is no longer the sum of what ministers, diplomats or businessmen accomplish with varying degrees of success," he said. "It puts itself at the service of a cause that transcends it but also gives it its true value."
Leaders of the two countries, in spite of their differences in age and career path, converge on two essential points, according to Gosset.
"First, in their political philosophy, they create support within their country by their ability to reconcile what, on the surface, seems to be opposed," he said. "(Second) in international politics, they converge in the idea of defending multilateralism."
Macron's three-day visit to China officially kicked off on Monday.