France’s Macron pledges to visit China “at least once a year”

World Today

French President Emmanuel Macron (2nd L) and his wife Brigitte Macron (L) pose with Chinese President Xi Jinping (2nd R) and his wife Peng Liyuan at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing on January 8, 2018. French President Emmanuel Macron urged Europe on January 8 to take part in China’s massive Silk Road infrastructure project but warned against “hegemony”, saying both sides should share the benefits. ( AFP PHOTO / Ludovic Marin)

French President Emmanuel Macron is pushing for stronger ties with China. Macron is on a state visit to the country, meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

CGTN’s Natasha Hussein has the details.

The state visit began at the gateway of the ancient Silk Road. As a gesture to boost cooperation under the modern Belt and Road Initiative, Macron chose Xi’an as the first stop of his visit to China.

Macron visited historic sites in throughout the city, including the famous Terracotta Warriors, and the centuries-old Big Wild Goose Pagoda.

The president then traveled to Beijing on Monday afternoon, where met with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Xi said China is willing to uphold the principle of win-win cooperation and work closely with France, in order to further boost cooperation under Belt and Road Initiative.

In a keynote speech at the ancient imperial palace complex Daming Palace, Macron said China and Europe should work together on the Belt and Road Initiative, and he also mentioned the way to advance bilateral relations.

“The method consists of listening, proposing, advancing and building trust, to create together the way for fidelity, reciprocity,” Macron said. “To that end, I will come at least once a year to China, for the whole duration of my presidency.”

This visit is Macron’s first official trip to Asia since being elected into office last year. The Chinese Foreign Ministry says it has great significance as China, France, and the EU work to better relations and work more closely together.

Macron will continue his state visit on Tuesday with a tour of the iconic Forbidden City. He will also meet top Chinese officials and oversee the signing of business deals.