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Xi Jinping Reports on Meetings with Macron and von der Leyen

April 7, 2023, 2022 (EIRNS)—As reported in Global Times, China’s President Xi Jinping took an upbeat note on the official visit over April 5-7 of French President Emmanuel Macron, as he did for the visit of EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and the trilateral meeting among Xi, Macron, and von der Leyen. Xi made clear to both leaders that the Ukraine crisis cannot bear on the development of their relations.

Macron brought with him a business delegation of 50-strong, including representatives of Airbus, luxury giant LVMH, and nuclear energy producer EDF. They also signed a series of agreements to deepen cooperation in aviation, aerospace, and civilian nuclear energy, and to cultivate new growth drivers in cooperation, such as scientific and technological innovation and green development. At China’s invitation, France will be a guest of honor country at the 2024 China International Fair for Trade in Services, and the seventh China International Import Expo.

Speaking at the closing ceremony of the fifth meeting of the China-France Business Council on April 6, President Xi said that China-France economic and trade cooperation have not only boosted the economic growth of the two countries and improved people’s well-being, but also boosted confidence and stabilized expectations for the world’s economic recovery, Xinhua reported.

Global Times covered Xi’s comment that Macron’s visit marks the first by a European head of state since China’s full resumption of exchanges with the world, and the successful conclusion of China’s “two sessions.” The visit will inject new momentum and bring new vitality to China-Europe relations. China supports Europe in achieving strategic autonomy; upholds that the China-Europe relationship is not targeted at, subjugated to, or controlled by any third party; and believes that Europe will take an independent approach to developing its relations with China, Xi said.

During his talks with Macron, Xi reaffirmed China’s commitment to facilitating peace talks and political settlement to the Ukraine crisis, and said China stands ready to issue a joint call with France for the international community to stay rational, exercise restraint, and avoid taking actions that might cause the crisis to further deteriorate or even spiral out of control.

Concerning their trilateral meeting, Xi said it

“demonstrated the positive desire of the European Union to grow relations with China and advance the common interests of China and the EU. China and the EU need to stay committed to dialogue and cooperation, uphold world peace and stability, foster common development and prosperity, promote human progress, and address global challenges together.”

Xi told Macron and von der Leyen that the Ukraine crisis is not an issue between China and the EU. China will continue to play a positive role in facilitating peace talks, while it “supports EU efforts to propose approaches and plans for a political settlement of the Ukraine crisis, and to build a balanced, effective and sustainable European security framework, which serves the fundamental and long-term interests of the EU.”

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