France and China agree to enhance cooperation

France and China agree to enhance cooperation

The A320s would be delivered in 2019 and 2020, a French presidency official said on condition of anonymity.

Macron, on his first visit to China since being elected a year ago, was due to meet Xi and other Chinese leaders for talks Tuesday and Wednesday that his government said also would include issues such as North Korea, the fight against terror financing and climate change.

Mr Macron was greeted by a military honour guard before talks with Mr Xi, during which a key topic was the "Belt and Road" initiative to increase China's trade links to central Asia, Europe and southeast Asia.

The average inhabitant eats four kilogrammes (8.8 pounds) each year, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

A delegation of French business leaders traveling with Macron signed cooperation agreements with Chinese partners, many of them government-owned, in energy, telecoms, aerospace and other fields.

French finance minister Bruno Le Maire said on Tuesday in Beijing that, from now on, Chinese investments in France will be screened, reportedly adding, "and I reject many". "We've never been that close to signing a commercial deal", the official said.


President Macron also confirmed that he and his Chinese counterpart have discussed sales of Airbus A350 and the A380 superjumbo jet, with China still maintaining its order parity with Airbus and American rival Boeing. Both leaders believe the China-France relations extend far beyond the bilateral scope and will have global significance.

He said: "We need a coordinated European approach that gives China more visibility about our agenda".

Alice Ekman of the Paris-based IFRI think-tank said: "For the moment, considering how extensive and unclear the Chinese project continues to be, several European countries including France have shown caution about it".

The United States and European Union are now looking at ways to tighten scrutiny of foreign investments and Macron is an advocate of a tighter screening mechanism in Europe for some sectors. But for now, it's unclear if anything will change soon. He told President Xi Jinping to open up Chinese markets to foreign investment, or risk a protectionist backlash.

The EU hopes negotiations on an investment pact with China will reach a "decisive stage" this year, the bloc's ambassador to China said separately, calling on Beijing to honour a pledge to open its economy to the world.

"Overall it will be very tough for France to achieve its objective (balancing the deficit), much like (U.S. President) Donald Trump has struggled to balance trade as well".

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