Deals, diplomacy, dinner on agenda as Xi wraps state visit to France

World Today

French President Emmanuel Macron (R) and Chinese President Xi Jinping toast each other during a state dinner at the Elysee Palace in Paris, on March 25, 2019, as part of a Chinese state visit to France. – The Chinese president is on a three-day state visit to France where he is expected to sign a series of bilateral and economic deals on energy, the food industry, transport and other sectors. (Photo by LUDOVIC MARIN /AFP)

Chinese President Xi Jinping was the guest of honor at a state dinner hosted by French President Emmanuel Macron.

President Xi toasted the ‘friendly and fruitful discussions.’ He also said China ‘attaches great importance’ to its relations with Europe.

Chinese President Xi Jinping speaks flanked by his wife Peng Liyuan, French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte Macron, during a state dinner at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France March 25, 2019. Ludovic Marin/Pool via REUTERS

Xi is wrapping-up a day two visit to France. It’s part of a six-day European tour to boost trade.

CGTN’s Stefan de Vries explains the deals and diplomacy taking place in Paris.

Chinese President Xi Jinping’s European trip brought him from Italy to Paris on Monday for meetings with French President Emmanuel Macron. The Chinese president was welcomed with full honors and a ceremony at the Arc de Triomphe.

The two leaders traveled to the Presidential Palace and discussed topics ranging from nuclear power to trade.

“Europe is a major pole in our multi-polar world, and it is one of China’s most important partners,” President Xi said. “This is why I chose Europe for my first foreign visit in 2019.”

President Macron faces a challenge of balancing Beijing’s growing global reach and a desire to deepen EU-China cooperation.


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Various business deals were signed between France and China, including a huge order for 300 Airbus planes estimated at $34 billion.

French President Macron said China has agreed to lift an embargo on French poultry.

“I thank the (Chinese) president (Xi Jinping) for his help in this sector, which is important for both our countries,” President Macron said.

Macron on Monday also called for a “strong Europe-China partnership” which should be based on “strong multilateralism” and “fair and balanced” trade. Before meeting with Macron, Xi stopped in Monaco for talks about the economy and the environment.

Tuesday is another busy day for Xi. He’ll meet in Paris with the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, and German Chancellor, Angela Merkel.