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Macron in Beijing: ‘Dialogue with China is essential’, President says

Macron in Beijing: ‘Dialogue with China is essential’, President says

Macron in Beijing: ‘Dialogue with China is essential’, President says

After a ten hour flight, the President of the Republic arrived in Beijing, China on Wednesday morning. There, Emmanuel Macron is received on a three-day official visit. A rich program awaits him, which began with a speech to the French public.

“Increasingly, we are hearing voices claiming that there is a form of unstoppable spiral of growing tension” between France, the European Union and China, the president began. “In our conversation with the world, China has a special place for us,” he continued, pointing out to the French in China that China’s “accumulation of forces”—China’s trade, economic, military—has “transformed this country.” .

“You have seen how he has changed, including in his identity, over the past fifteen to twenty years,” he told the audience, reiterating that “dialogue with China is necessary.”

Travel in 2019

On Thursday, the French head of state will hold a day of talks with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping, with whom European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen will be partly connected, to get from China what he weighs in favor of peace in Ukraine with Russia, fifteen days after the highly symbolic trips of the Chinese autocrat to Moscow. The evening will be marked by a gala dinner, which promises to be luxurious.

Although the French president intended to visit China “at least once a year”, his latest trip dates from 2019: Covid-19 and draconian health restrictions that the authorities did not lift until the end of 2022. frozen relations, and experienced the French living in China.

Therefore, Paris is betting on “reunification” at all levels and wants to resume the exchange of people, in particular between students from the two countries and tourism. China only allowed its citizens to return to France and 40 other countries on March 15. Cultural ties will also be highlighted.

Jean-Jacques Annaud and Jean-Michel Jarre

Emmanuel Macron is due to open the French-Chinese festival Croisements tonight, billed as the biggest foreign festival in China. That is why he is accompanied by director Jean-Jacques Annaud and musician Jean-Michel Jarre, the first Western artist to perform in China in 1981, after the Cultural Revolution. Jarret arrived with his wife, Chinese actress Gong Li.

Actress Gong Li and her husband, French composer Jean-Michel Jarre, at Beijing airport after flying on the French presidential plane. AFP/Ludovic Marin AFP or licensors

While the French delegation promised to raise the issue of human rights, especially in the Xinjiang area, which some observers say is the victim of a harsh crackdown on Uyghur Muslims, the French delegation also took on board more than 50 business leaders, including leaders from Airbus, EDF, Alstom or even Veolia. Contracts are to be signed on Thursday “across the board.” Aeronautics, major air carriers, technology, luxury, automotive, carbon-free energy… 2,000 French companies have been established in China for a long time, the president greeted.

The President touched very little on the topic of the environment, which, however, was the topic of his 2019 state trip, marked by his famous “Make our planet great again” line, which was abandoned in Cantonese.

Emmanuel Macron will end his visit to Canton on Friday, where he will have an exchange with Chinese students and a new dinner with Xi Jinping, more intimate than yesterday.

Source: Le Parisien

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