French President Emmanuel Macron arrives in China Monday for a giant import expo, where he is expected to receive the “friendliest and warmest welcome,” according to Chinese officials.
During his trip, he intends to lobby on behalf of European companies for greater access to Chinese markets. Macron is accompanied by German Education Minister Anja Karliczek and EU trade commissioner Phil Hogan in a sign of European unity on the matter.
“Since this fair is supposed to demonstrate China’s openness, well, let’s prove it with access to its agribusiness market and progress on the EU-China deals,” said a French presidential advisor ahead of the trip.
The adviser said it is important to show unity “because we know how Europeans have moved to China without any coordination in the past, letting China think we were divided.”
Beijing to Brussels
The trip comes as the US trade war with China takes its toll on European business. But analysts say the trade war has also given further impetus to enhancing European trade ties with China.
Last week, China appointed its first special envoy for European affairs in a sign of Europe’s growing importance for Beijing. Wu Hongbo, who will take up the post, served as China’s ambassador to Germany from 2009 to 2012.
“As two important forces in the world, China and Europe have formed a multidimensional, multifaceted and wide-ranging cooperation,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said.
ls/rt (Reuters, AFP)
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