China and France strengthen economic ties during Macron visit


"The order for the 184 planes from the A320 family will be finalised shortly and has been confirmed by Chinese President Xi Jinping, " Macron told newsmen on Wednesday at the end of his three-day visit to China.

As a demonstration of the two countries' commitment to multilateralism, Xi and Macron said they will "keep constructive dialogues on worldwide treaties", including biodiversity, nature conservation and protecting marine life.

The state visit concluded today.

The visit has been widely covered in China, and Mr Macron is seen as representing Europe as much as France.

BNP Paris was set to announce plans for a joint-venture on consumer credit, an official said, and added that French nuclear group Areva had "never been so close" to signing a contract to build a reprocessing plant in China. At least 2 million people are employed to censor and spy on them, that is to say, one censor for every 375 Internet users.

"But with French beef consumption falling five percent a year, we have to find new markets", said economy minister Bruno Le Maire, who is travelling with Macron. Both leaders believe the China-France relations extend far beyond the bilateral scope and will have global significance.

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The European planemaker Airbus also said they planned to boost the number of aircraft they assemble in China.

Unveiled in 2013, the Belt and Road project is aimed at connecting China by land and sea to Southeast Asia, Pakistan and Central Asia, and beyond to the Middle East, Europe and Africa.

Macron and Xi also saw eye-to-eye on the battle against climate change, with both voicing their commitment to the Paris accord in the face of US President Donald Trump's pledge to withdraw from the pact.

The United States and European Union are now looking at ways to tighten scrutiny of foreign investments and Macron is an advocate of a tighter screening mechanism in Europe for some sectors.

President Xi Jinping is receiving Macron with great fanfare, and hopes that little attention will be paid to the delicate issue of the systematic human rights violations on which his rule is based. Others, however, are not as convinced, noting Xi's strong support for state-owned enterprises over the past two years.

One of the most closely watched sectors is aerospace, with Airbus talks to sell 100 or more jetliners to China, officials familiar with the talks said last week.