Xi, Macron agree to cooperate on climate, trade

13 January, 2018, 03:54 | Author: Bert Pena
  • President Macron urged to raise human rights during China visit

In China, President Macron went to great lengths to highlight his desire to meld both the interests of Europe and China, presenting China's leader Xi Jinping with a gift of a horse, an eight-year old gelding named Vesuvius.

He noted France was the first Western country to form diplomatic ties with the Communist Beijing government and recalled that then-President Charles de Gaulle and Chinese leader Mao Zedong met in 1964.

Chinese online retailer JD.com announced plans to sell French goods worth two billion euros ($2.4 billion) to Chinese consumers over the next two years, including high-end wine and cognac.

'The two countries can enhance political mutual trust and fully tap the potential of cooperation transcending differences on the social system, development stage and culture, ' Xi said.

Mr Macron's announcement comes after Airbus said on Tuesday that it will accelerate production of the A320 workhorse model in China to six a month by 2020 as the European planemaker seeks to meet global demand while pursuing more orders in Asia's largest economy. He is visiting China for the first time as president from January 8-10, 2018. "If they are roads, they can not be one-way".

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In a keynote speech on Monday, Macron urged the European Union to take part in Xi's Silk Road initiative, though he warned that it should not create a "new hegemony" for Beijing.

"We have an access to markets which is unbalanced, unsatisfying", Macron told members of the French and Chinese business community at a start-up incubator in Beijing. "The A380 is the flawless jet for China in 1993", he said.

"Macron seems to have come to the realization that he had better be on the right side of the table under China's divide and conquer strategy in Europe, i.e. a more accommodating stance towards China", she wrote.

A key issue for Macron, invoked several times during his visit, is reciprocity, or obtaining the same level of access for European and other foreign companies to China's state-dominated economy as Chinese companies enjoy overseas. "We can't blame them for that because we have forced very tough privatizations on them", Macron said.


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