China in Lyon in March 2014

from 25 to 26 March 2014

Xi Jinping, président de la République populaire de Chine

Visit confirmed.

Venue for the visit:

Lyon (France)

Topics of the meeting:
  • Culture,
  • Life sciences,
  • Social cohesion,
  • University and research.
This visit relates to:
  • the partner city of Lyon:

Lyon welcomed Xi Jinping, President of the People's Republic of China, on March 2014.


Lyon is a pioneer in relations with China... On March 25, 2014, the Chinese president began his official visit to France in Lyon. In the context of the fiftieth anniversary of the start of diplomatic relations between France and the People’s Republic of China, Lyon emphasized the historic links which tie the city and surrounding area to China.

Starting in the sixteenth century, Lyon played a pioneering role as the capital of printing in the spread of Chinese culture throughout Europe. In the nineteenth century, commercial relations between Lyon and China intensified around the silk industry and trade.

Following the opening of the first university chair in Chinese in France in 1917, the Franco-Chinese Institute of Lyon was created in 1921 in the city’s fifth arrondissement. For twenty-five years, this institute, which was the only Chinese university outside China, trained 473 talented students from modern China in the scientific, agricultural, technologic, artistic and industrial areas. Today, the forty university agreements drawn up between institutes of higher education in Lyon and their partners in China continue to promote educational cooperation.

In 1965, after the establishment of Franco-Chinese diplomatic relations, Paul Berliet exhibited Berliet trucks in Beijing, giving rise to the first technology transfers to China. Later, in 1978, Alain Mérieux presented the human and veterinary vaccines developed by the Mérieux Institute and initiated a fruitful cooperation with China.

Building on this fertile groundwork, Lyon announced the city’s official twinning with the City of Canton in 1988.

This long tradition of intellectual emulation and business and institutional exchanges has led to the welcoming on our territory of eleven Chinese companies, in particular Bluestar Silicones, a subsidiary of the Chem China group and currently the largest Chinese investor in Europe. 

These partnerships between our area and China were underscored by the presence in Lyon of President Xi Jinping, who inaugurated the new center for the promotion of relations between Lyon and China and the History Museum of the Franco-Chinese Institute of Lyon during his visit.

Video of President Xi Jinping official visit in Lyon (March 2014)



Guillaume Arnould

Métropole de Lyon - Economic development, employment and knowledge delegation

chargé de mission internationalité territoire et logistique organisation