After a day devoted to multi-billion-dollar business deals, Chinese leader Xi Jinping trained his sights on culture and history during the last day of his lavish visit to France.
Yet business was still the talk of the day at an economic forum on the margins of the three-day state visit, as French Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici called for more Chinese investment in France in a bid to boost jobs and growth.
"Today, the lion has woken up, and it is peaceful, pleasant and civilised," Xi said in a final speech after a trip to the UNESCO headquarters, referring to Napoleon's description of China as a sleeping lion.
French authorities have bent over backwards to woo Xi, giving the Chinese president and his wife Peng Liyuan VIP treatment as the power couple visit France on the 50th anniversary of full diplomatic ties between the two countries.
"Your visit today marks, 50 years on, the beginning of a new cycle," in Franco-Chinese relations, said Hollande.
Chinese calls to cut red tape
Road blocks slowed traffic in parts of the French capital and transport authorities closed many subway stations Thursday to avoid any security slips or unwelcome protests against China's much-decried human rights record.
But business was far from Xi's mind on Thursday as he visited the headquarters of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation in Paris and later made a speech at the foreign ministry rich in
historical and literary references.
Hollande presented his Chinese guest with a bust of France's post-war president Charles de Gaulle, the first Western head of state to establish diplomatic ties with communist China in 1964.
Tibetan monks protest
The question of rights in China also came to the fore on Thursday with some 160 Tibetan exiles staging a rally in Paris, holding up banners such as "Hollande team up with world leaders to save Tibetan lives" and "Wake up United Nations."
force of opposition."