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French president kicks off three-day state visit to China

(People's Daily Online)    16:18, January 08, 2018

Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) meets with his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron in Hamburg, Germany, July 8, 2017. (Xinhua/Li Xueren)

French President Emmanuel Macron on Monday arrived in Xi’an, capital of Shaanxi province, as the first European leader to visit China since the conclusion of the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China.

According to information released by Elysee Palace, the French president would visit the famous Terracotta Warriors in Xi’an and the Forbidden City in Beijing. During his very first visit to China, Macro will be welcomed by his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping with a series of events, while the two heads of state will further strengthen bilateral ties by reviewing past achievements and outlining a direction for future cooperation in political, economic, and cultural fields.

As the first major Western country that established diplomatic relations with China, France has been long considered as an important partner to help China boost its relations with the European Union, especially after Brexit. Experts noted that Macron’s China visit may promote the Belt and Road Initiative, helping China to deepen its cooperation with European countries.

[File photo]

“France may take a leading role in the promotion of Belt and Road Initiative among Western countries. Enterprises in France hope to expand their business in China, while China wants to make Sino-French relations as a role model [for other European countries]. Better bilateral relations would be a win-win solution for both sides,” Liu Zuokui, a Chinese Academy of Social Sciences scholar, told Xinhua.

China-France ties are currently at their peak, with Paris being Beijing's fourth largest trading partner in the EU and Beijing ranking the first among France’s Asian trading partners.

[File photo]

In addition to bilateral trade, experts noted that the two leaders will also exchange opinions on major international and regional issues, reaching positive consensus on multilateralism and globalization in the face of growing U.S. isolationism.

“Xi and Macron will discuss strengthening cooperation to safeguard multilateralism, build an open world economy, improve global governance, and work jointly to tackle global challenge,” said Geng Shuang, a spokesperson for the China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Kou Jie, Bianji)

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