Marcha 20, 2018

China, France for Strengthening, Expanding Bilateral Ties

12 Enero 2018, 07:32 | Dolorita Barahona

As China Extends Its Influence Abroad, When Does Influence Become Interference?

French President Emmanuel Macron seen during a joint press briefing with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Great Hall of the People on Jan. 9 2018 in Beijing China

The two reassured each other they would "deepen cooperation" on environment and climate change, and applauded each other's recent achievements: the Paris One Planet Summit hosted by France and soft launch of a national emissions trading scheme in China. "You mentioned climate change".

Xi and Macron held talks in Beijing on Tuesday.

French President Emmanuel Macron said a contract with China for 184 Airbus A320 narrow-body jets would be finalized soon and that his country also had ambitions to sell A350 and A380 planes to China in coming weeks or months. RSF nonetheless reminds all concerned that China is ranked very near the bottom of the RSF World Press Freedom Index - 176th out of 180 countries.

"The partnership with China is a strategic partnership, we need to structure relations in terms of intellectual property, structure greater access to the Chinese market, allow Chinese investments in France and open data reciprocally", said the chief of the French state.

Paris looks to boost communication and dialogue at a high level and in various fields during this visit, reinforce cooperation in key areas such as aerospace and nuclear power, and introduce a new chapter of bilateral cooperation, Macron said.

"For me, it's critical to be much closer to the Chinese operator". Such warnings are common among economists and political analysts, but it is unusual for a foreign leader in Beijing to address a sensitive issue so directly.

He came bearing gifts, including a brown horse named Vesuvius plucked from the French presidential cavalry.

"Macron seems to have come to the realization that he had better be on the right side of the table under China's divide and conquer strategy in Europe, i.e. a more accommodating stance towards China", she wrote. For its part, Britain promoted itself as a platform for Chinese companies in Europe. A number of business deals and investment plans were reached during the trip.

"China supports France to play a bigger role in the integrity of Europe", said Xi. The other, a warning to not underestimate growing concern and frustration in Europe - and elsewhere - with what many regard as China's unfair trade practices such as investment restrictions in many sectors that are not blocked in countries overseas.

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