French President Emmanuel Macron has started a three-day state visit to Xian and Beijing to discuss trade, climate, North Korea and technology with President Xi Jinping.
In his first trip to Asia since winning office last year, Macron, 40, is seeking orders for Airbus SE as well as greater reciprocal market access, echoing President Donald Trump’s call last year.
Since taking office in May, he is determined for the Europe Union to strengthen its defenses in the face of U.S. and Chinese trade competition, saying the bloc must end its “naive” approach.
In a speech at the start of his tour in Xian, it is believed that Macron is likely to reference Xi’s lack of attempt to open China to foreign companies, a pursuit for a more economically sovereign Europe.
“The best Macron can do to help the European and French economies is to take Xi at his word on free trade and globalization and push relentlessly for more reciprocity,” said Francoise Nicolas, director of Asian studies at the Institute for Foreign Relations in Paris.
President Trump made similar demands during his own state visit to Beijing in November, leaving with few policy assurances. He is now counting on Europe to provide a united front against China on trade.
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