BACK ME! Macron demands 'coordinated European approach' in China trade bid

French President Emmanuel Macron in China for economic talks

French President Emmanuel Macron in China for economic talks

When jointly meeting the press, Xi said he and Macron agreed on reinforcing bilateral cooperation in the worldwide context, jointly addressing global challenges including climate change and terrorism.

The average inhabitant eats four kilogrammes (8.8 pounds) each year, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. They both pledged to work closely together to achieve that objective.

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.

Macron, in turn, said France attaches great importance to bilateral cooperation within the framework of the Belt and Road initiative.

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As president, Macron has pushed for the European Union to screen foreign investments in its strategic sectors and, signalling French annoyance at China's reluctance to open some of its domestic markets, that issue has been a focal point of the three-day visit. 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.

Macron went out of his way to win the heart of the Chinese leader on the first day of his state visit on Monday, offering him a horse from the elite French Republican Guard. It is also his first visit to China since he took office. The traditional export fields such as high-speed trains, cars and communication devices have not performed well in the Chinese market. For its part, Britain promoted itself as a platform for Chinese companies in Europe.

In June, he urged the European Commission to build a system for screening investments in strategic sectors from outside the bloc, which drew criticism from Beijing.

For China, France's pivot to closer ties could be beneficial for its overall standing in Europe: A "divide and conquer" strategy will help diversify its power, as sentiment toward the East Asian giant turns sour in Germany, Garcia-Herrero added. Our relationship is anchored in time, and in my opinion is based on civilization, in the sense that France and China are two countries with very different cultures but which both have a universal calling.

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