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Chinese President Xi Jinping Begins Two-Day State Visit To France Amid Escalating Trade Disputes And Ukraine Conflict

Benzinga Neuro
May 05, 2024

Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived in France on Sunday, commencing a two-day state visit. The visit comes at a time of escalating trade disputes between China and the European Union and against the backdrop of the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.

What Happened: President Xi’s visit to France is notable for several reasons. The Chinese leader’s arrival in Paris coincides with mounting trade tensions between China and the EU. France, in particular, has been vocal about its concerns regarding trade imbalances and the impact of the conflict in Ukraine, reported Reuters.

French President Emmanuel Macron is expected to address these issues during his discussions with Xi. Macron is also likely to seek China’s support in influencing Russia’s actions in Ukraine. The EU, including France, has been divided on its approach towards China, which could potentially weaken the EU’s ability to influence the Asian powerhouse.

Prior to Xi’s two-day tour, Macron stated in an interview with the French newspaper La Tribune, “We want to obtain reciprocity of exchanges and have the elements of our economic security taken into account.” 

See Also: Russian Troops Enter US Military Base In Niger Amid Rising Tensions

During his visit, Xi is scheduled to meet with Macron and Ursula von der Leyen, the President of the European Commission, to discuss these pressing matters. The visit also presents an opportunity for France to address concerns related to its agricultural exports and the French cosmetic industry’s intellectual property rights in China.

“If the Chinese seek to deepen the relationship with European partners, it is really important that they hear our point of view and start taking it seriously,” a French diplomatic source told Reuters.

Why It Matters: Xi’s visit to France is part of a larger European tour, which also includes stops in Serbia and Hungary. This tour is seen as an attempt to strengthen economic ties with the EU, especially in light of the growing tensions between the U.S. and China. The EU has been aligning itself more closely with the U.S., as evidenced by recent warnings from U.S. officials about the potential consequences of aiding Russia’s military capacity.

Earlier in April, U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warned Chinese banks and exporters against aiding Russia's military capacity, citing potential sanctions. This warning came amid concerns over China's support for Russia during the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, a topic that Macron is expected to raise during Xi’s visit.

Xi’s visit to the EU also comes in the wake of warnings from China’s special envoy for climate change, Liu Zhenmin, that the U.S. and Europe’s attempts to curb China's dominance in green technologies could impede the global fight against climate change. This issue, along with trade and geopolitical tensions, is likely to be on the agenda during Xi’s visit to France.

Read Next: Russian Troops Enter US Military Base In Niger, Trump’s Views On Presidential Immunity And More: Top Poli

Image Via Shutterstock


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