During talks with visiting French President Emmanuel Macron and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on April 6, Chinese President Xi Jinping emphasised cooperation and common ground between China and the EU.
China and France signed a series of agreements, including civilian nuclear energy, according to Global Times. Both countries decided to deepen cooperation in traditional areas such as aviation, aerospace and civilian nuclear energy and cultivate growth drivers in cooperation such as green development and scientific and technological innovation, including building a China-France carbon neutrality centre and strengthening joint training of talent. In short, France-China is strengthening trade ties.
Ironically, French President Emmanuel Macron said that he wants to engage China in shared responsibility for peace and stability.
France also requested China to reason and mediate with Russia and help bring an end to the war in Ukraine as the two held the first of a series of high-level meetings in Beijing.
“The Russian aggression in Ukraine has dealt a blow to (international) stability,” Emmanuel Macron told Xi Jinping, standing alongside the Chinese president outside the Great Hall of the People ahead of their meeting. “I know I can count on you to bring back Russia to reason and everyone back to the negotiating table.”
As the European economy is at stake due to the prolonged war in Ukraine, the European region is straying away from the US. Now, it is begging China to bring Vladimir Putin back to the table. Europe is persuading China to leverage close ties with Russia or at least deter Beijing from directly supporting Moscow’s invasion, which Russia calls a “special military operation”.
Emmanuel Macron also asked Xi Jinping to press Russia to comply with international rules on the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons. Russian President Vladimir Putin has said he will station tactical nuclear weapons in Ukraine’s neighbour Belarus, a move seen as a dangerous escalation in the bloody year-long conflict.
Emmanuel Macron’s visit alongside EU chief Ursula von der Leyen comes after years of souring relations with Beijing over issues ranging from a stalled investment pact to China’s reluctance to condemn Russia over its Ukraine invasion. She added the EU was counting on China not to provide military equipment to Russia directly or indirectly, which would “significantly harm our relationship” and be a “violation of international law.”
But addressing the press after his arrival on April 5, Emmanuel Macron said Europe must resist reducing trade and diplomatic ties with China and reject what some have cast as an “inescapable spiral” of tension between China and the West.
Some analysts had suggested that Emmanuel Macron and von der Leyen may adopt a “good cop, bad cop” role in Beijing with the convivial Frenchman promoting a “reset” in ties and the EU chief laying out the thornier issues and red lines in those relations.
For its part, China is eager to ensure Europe does not follow what it sees as U.S -led efforts to contain its rise, and there are at least hopes of healing divisions with France.