January 22, 2018

Trade relations; Macron says China will order 184 Airbus planes

12 January 2018, 09:28 | Taylor George

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

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

In a formal statement following Macron's visit, France and China said they were exploring new plane contracts and discussing openings for the A330, A350 and A380 wide-body models.

Macron, however, called for "balanced cooperation" between the two countries and said he wanted to reduce France's 36-billion-dollar trade deficit with China.

He also said Beijing is for coordinating with France on major global issues in the hope of promoting world stability and prosperity.

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.

China is France's biggest Asian trading partner but the French side reported a 30 billion euro trade deficit past year.

Airbus Chief Operating Officer Fabrice Bregier said that the current build rate at the Tianjin construction plant will increase from four planes a month. The attempt to reinvigorate ties also comes as the countries try to grapple with the strident nationalist tendencies of U.S. President Donald Trump and his harsh rhetoric towards the North's leader Kim Jong-un.

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Among a string of business deals with China Macron secured during his visits, cooperation deals on nuclear and aviation were framed as means to tackle climate change by some Chinese observers. "It will be hard and take time, because France will be entering a very competitive market already open to the US, Uruguay, Canada and Australia", he said.

The president came to China with 50 business leaders and gave Xi a horse from the Republican Guard as a gift.

French Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire, who was among Macron's delegation, said the deal would "better compensate" French cattle ranchers facing a reduction in French beef consumption.

The 20 deals signed by China and France on Tuesday covered areas such as nuclear power, aerospace and health.

Macron's visit was billed by his government as aimed at expanding French and European relations with China.

The French politician's first official visit to China is notable for coming as other leaders of the Western world struggle domestically.

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