French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius wrapped up a visit to Beijing on Tuesday, saying he hoped for a "higher quality partnership" between France and China.
France's top diplomat met Prime Minister Wen Jiabao and his likely successor Vice President Li Keqiang, a contrast to a February trip when Chinese leaders shunned him. At the time, he was a representative for then presidential candidate Francois Hollande.
The trip was the first to China by a French minister since Hollande was elected in May.
"We are going to have a higher quality partnership and better relations than in the past," Fabius said at a news conference, referring to the "ups and downs" of France's relations under former president Nicolas Sarkozy.
Fabius met his Chinese counterpart Yang Jiechi on Monday, with the two discussing the bloodshed in Syria among a range of international issues.
Fabius said France and China remained at odds over Syria. Russia and China vetoed two UN Security Council resolutions criticising President Bashar al-Assad's regime earlier this year.
"China needs to have the mindset that, if Assad falls, like we hope he will, there won't be chaos," he said.
On economic relations, Fabius noted that France had a "major commercial imbalance" with China of 27 billion euros ($34 billion).
"We need to fix that with cooperations in new sectors," Fabius said.