Pingyao city of north China's Shanxi Province signed an accord of friendship ties with Provins of France, as part of the on-going concluding ceremony of the French Culture Year, at the Great Hall of the People Thursday.

This is the first time the two cities, both listed as cultural heritages by the United Nations Education, Science and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), signed an agreement to forge friendship city ties.

French Culture Minister Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres said at the ceremony that both France and China had long history with a profound culture. The people of both nations pursue a state-of-art life with abundant creativity and persistent innovation.

He said the friendship ties between Provins and Pingyao fully embodied the France-China friendship. The two cities will carry out specific measures to enhance communication and cooperation in the fields of culture and education, economy and trade, agriculture, and tourism and heritage protection especially.

Pingyao was listed as UNESCO's world culture heritage in 1997 for its sound preservation of the urban landscape in China's Ming and Qing imperial dynasties, whereas Province, as a "fossil" witnessing great changes of the European continent from the 11 to 13th century, was also listed as UNESCO's world culture heritage in 2001.

Pingyao and Provins have signed an agreement for cooperation back in 2002, Li Dingwu, a senior Pingyao official said, adding that an exhibition of the two cities will be shown simultaneously with the French Culture Year's concluding celebrations.