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Xi, Macron united in facing global challenges: French media

By Gong Ming (People's Daily)    10:00, January 11, 2018

From Macron's post on Twitter, it says," Because the climate will speak to everybody: 'Make our planet great again' in Chinese". (File photo)

Paris (People's Daily) - French media see great potentials for Sino-French ties, saying Chinese President Xi Jinping and his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron have no trouble finding common ground during Macron's state visit to China.

French newspaper Le Figaro published an article entitled,“Macron and Xi united to face the challenges of the world”on the second day of Macron's visit to China. “Emmanuel Macron affirmed in concert with his Chinese counterpart that Paris and Beijing need to tighten their ties in all areas,” the newspaper reported.

French media said they see a great potential in France-China cooperation. They reported that the two leaders have no trouble finding common ground, such as support for multilateralism, the fight against global warming and Islamic terrorism. They added that the meeting between Macron and Xi proved to be much more fruitful diplomatically than with the tenant of the White House.

Experts said that in the context of a lack of American leadership in many areas on top of Brexit and political impasse in Germany, the French president, still new to international politics, enjoys a positive image. Le Monde said Macron's trip to the world's second largest economy is an opportunity to establish a “personal” contact with Xi and lay the groundwork for its Asian policy.

Le Monde added that Macron’s visit to China could be an opportunity to create conditions for forming a new political ecosystem by proposing innovative solutions to global problems.

The first day of the visit in Xi'an caught much attention when Macron called on China and Europe to work together on the Belt and Road Initiative.

French media say Xi'an was chosen as Macron’s first stop because it is the starting and ending points of the historic Silk Road. Paris wants to give its support to the ambitious initiative launched by President Xi in 2013. As Macron declared, France is ready to participate, on a case-by-case basis, in joint investment projects along the corridors linking China to Europe via Central Asia and even Africa.

The day was devoted to the economy, and was largely welcomed in France because of the huge trade deficit France faces with China. In an attempt to narrow the gap, Macron was accompanied on his trip by 50 executives of top French companies, including leaders of Areva, Airbus, Safran and EDF.

"The partnership with China is a strategic partnership. It's necessary to structure relations in terms of intellectual property, to structure a greater access to the Chinese market, to allow Chinese investments in France and to open data in a reciprocal way,” Macron was quoted as saying in Beijing.

French media anticipate a narrowing of the trade gap, especially with projects like the processing-recycling plant in China for some 10 billion euros.

Aside from traditional industry agreements, new markets have been opened to French products. China has pledged to lift “within six months” the embargo on French beef it imposed in 2001 following the mad cow crisis. Another significant deal involves Chinese ecommerce giant JD.com, which has committed to sell on its platforms 2 billion euros worth of French products over the next two years. And the CEO of another Chinese online giant Alibaba, Jack Ma, also said he would soon sign an agreement to install a logistics center and increase French products on its online platform. 

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

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