China's premier says his country is ready for broad cooperation with France in nuclear technology, but he urged a French company to improve its bid if it hopes to win a major contract with China.

Wen Jibao made his comments to students at the elite Ecole Polytechnique science and engineering university near Paris on the third day of his visit to France.

The French Areva Group is bidding against the U.S. Westinghouse Corporation and other firms for a contract to build and maintain the next generation of China's nuclear power plants.

The comments came as Mr. Wen prepared to fly to southern France to visit the headquarters of helicopter manufacturer Eurocopter. The firm Monday signed an agreement with China for joint development of a new helicopter. The Chinese premier will also visit the site of the ITER international experimental nuclear fusion project.

Some information for this report provided by AP and AFP.