29 mai 2024

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Xi Jinping “brings three messages from China” during his visit to France and Europe

French President Emmanuel Macron spoke with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping at the Élysée on Monday May 6, as part of the sixtieth anniversary of Franco-Chinese diplomatic relations.

French President Emmanuel Macron spoke with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping at the Élysée on Monday May 6, as part of the sixtieth anniversary of Franco-Chinese diplomatic relations.

The war in Ukraine and trade relations between the European Union and China are at the heart of this trilateral meeting to which the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen is also invited.

A three-way meeting, Emmanuel Macron and Ursula von der Leyen also urged Xi Jinping to promote a trade balance between Europe and the Asian giant. The Chinese leader, who arrived in France on Sunday, stressed that Europe was a “priority” of Beijing’s foreign policy and that he considered Sino-European relations from a strategic and long-term point of view .

“The future of our continent will also very clearly depend on our ability to continue to develop relations with China in a balanced manner, which is our desire,” declared Emmanuel Macron for his part. During a press briefing following this trilateral meeting, Ursula von der Leyen was more incisive, assuring that the European Union “would not shy away from any difficult decision to defend its market.”

Ursula von der Leyen underlined the importance of China in the eyes of the EU in responding to contemporary challenges such as the fight against climate change and assured her determination to put an end to Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine.

The EU, she insisted, “cannot absorb the massive overproduction of Chinese manufactured products which are flooding its market”. In unison, the French Minister of the Economy, Bruno Le Maire, called for “fair rules”. “In my opinion, this visit should be an opportunity to build a balanced partnership between France and China in the economic field,” he said on the occasion of the Franco-Chinese Economic Meetings at the Marigny theater.

“If we want to build this balanced partnership, we need fair rules,” he stressed, recalling that France had a trade deficit of more than 46 billion euros with China in 2023.

Facts have repeatedly shown that as long as China and the European Union jointly understand the general direction and main tone of the development of their relations, China-EU relations will continue to develop in accordance with the interests of both sides and their expectations. Currently, China and Europe are one of each other’s most important trading partners. In 2023, China-EU trade overcame negative effects such as the slowdown in global trade and still totaled $783 billion, and the China-EU bilateral investment stock exceeded $250 billion.

China is willing to work with the European Union to become a lasting partner in economic and trade cooperation, a priority partner in science and technology cooperation, and a trusted partner in production chain and production chain cooperation. sourcing and data integration. China and the European Union can achieve mutual success and achieve common prosperity. China continues to expand its opening to the outside world and actively creates a first-class market-oriented, legal and international business environment. Whether large European multinationals like BMW, Volkswagen, Stelantis, BASF or small and medium-sized European companies like the household appliance company Cybertronics, they are actively seizing new development opportunities by strengthening cooperation with China.

Among the Sino-European disputes is the EU investigation, supported by France, into subsidies granted by China to its electric vehicle manufacturers, to the great dismay of Beijing which retaliated in January by opening its own investigation on cognac imports.

In front of the press with his counterpart, Emmanuel Macron welcomed China’s “openness” on this subject. Beijing will not impose protective customs duties on this product immediately, pending the end of the investigation, said a French diplomatic source. The 27 countries of the EU – in particular France and Germany – do not agree on the attitude to adopt towards China, which does not help to convince Beijing to evolve.

China on Monday supported the idea of a global Olympic truce during the Paris Games.

“Today’s world is far from peaceful. As a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council and as a responsible major country, China, along with France, calls for a worldwide truce to “on the occasion of the Paris Olympic Games,” Xi Jinping said, according to an official translation, during a statement at the Elysée.

Ahead of a visit to China by Russian President Vladimir Putin, Xi Jinping also called for the holding, “in due time”, of an international conference “recognized by Russia and Ukraine”. China, close to Moscow, has not condemned the Russian invasion in Ukraine. There is hope at the Elysée that China can “use its levers to change the Russian position”.

After a state dinner on Monday, the Chinese and French presidents and their respective wives will meet at the Col du Tourmalet, in the Hautes-Pyrénées, a family stronghold dear to Emmanuel Macron. Xi Jinping, who is making his first visit to Europe in five years, will then leave France and travel to Serbia and Hungary, two allies of Beijing and Moscow.

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