Thứ Sáu, Tháng Sáu 2, 2023
HomeBusinessMacron meets China's Li as EU leaders begin talks in Beijing

Macron meets China’s Li as EU leaders begin talks in Beijing


BEIJING — French President Emmanuel Macron began a series of meetings with Chinese leaders in Beijing on Thursday during a visit by European Union chief Ursula von der Leyen that could shape the relationship. the bloc’s future relationship with China after years of strained relations.

Newly appointed Prime Minister Li Qiang greeted Macron at the Great Hall of the People, a cavernous building west of Tiananmen Square often used for ceremonial events, ahead of the summit with President Xi Jinping at the end of the day.

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After arriving late on Wednesday, Macron said Europe must resist cutting trade and diplomatic ties with Beijing, which has been at odds with the West on issues including Taiwan, sensitive technology, and China. China’s close relationship with Russia.

European Commission President von der Leyen, on his first visit to China since taking office in 2019, said Europe must “remove risks” in relations with Beijing, as China has transition from the era of reform and opening up to the era of security and control. .

During her tenure, Europe’s relations with China deteriorated, mainly due to tit-for-tat sanctions that stalled an investment pact in 2021 and Beijing’s refusal to condemn it. Russia about its invasion of Ukraine, which has claimed thousands of lives since it began last year.


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But emerging from years of sparse diplomacy as pandemic-driven border controls largely shut the country off from the rest of the world, China is eager to make sure Europe doesn’t follow what it says. they see as a US-led effort to contain their rise.

For Macron’s visit at least, there are high expectations in Beijing.

“Macron’s visit is expected to produce concrete results in promoting economic and trade cooperation between China and France, as well as enhancing political mutual trust,” the media outlet said. State-owned Global Times wrote in an editorial on Thursday.

“It is noteworthy that many forces in Europe and the US are paying great attention to Macron’s visit and exerting influence in different directions,” the Global Times wrote. “In other words, not everyone wants to see Macron’s visit to China go smoothly and successfully.”

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Following Macron’s talks with Li, the Chinese premier is expected to hold a “working lunch” with von der Leyen. Later in the afternoon, Macron and von der Leyen will hold private talks with Xi before the three hold trilateral talks in the evening.

Both Macron and von der Leyen have said they want to persuade China to use its influence over Russia to bring peace in Ukraine, or at least prevent Beijing from directly assisting Moscow in the conflict. . Russia calls the invasion of Ukraine a “special military operation”.

Some analysts say the duo could take on the role of “good cop, bad cop” with Macron happily pushing for a “reset” of China-EU relations and von der Leyen insisting thornier issues and red lines in those relationships.

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“China is an important trading partner but EU businesses face many discriminatory barriers,” von der Leyen tweeted Thursday morning after a meeting with representatives of the European Chamber of Commerce. in Beijing.

“The EU-China relationship is vast and complex. How we manage them will impact the prosperity and security of the EU. I am in Beijing discussing this relationship – and its future,” von der Leyen said in an earlier tweet on Thursday.

Macron, accompanied by a delegation of 50 businesses including Airbus, luxury giant LVMH and nuclear energy producer EDF, is also expected to announce deals with China.

But not everyone returning home thinks it’s a good signal to send.

“Three-quarters of the delegation is business leaders: the first and foremost goal is to close the deal,” Raphael Glucksmann, a left-wing member of the European parliament, wrote on Twitter ahead of Macron’s visit. “At a time when the debate in Europe focuses on our suicidal dependence on China and Chinese interference, this message is not appropriate.” (Reporting by Michel Rose and Laurie Chen in Beijing; Writing by John Geddie; Editing by Gerry Doyle and Raju Gopalakrishnan)


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