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Macron appeals to China for partnership in climate, Africa

AP  |  Beijing 

French said today he hopes to forge a partnership with on climate, security and other issues during a visit to expand European ties with The trip comes as Britain's impending departure from the and the more inward-looking policies of US Donald Trump have raised the prospect of a possible realignment of global influence. and have promoted themselves as leaders on global warming after Trump pulled out of the climate agreement. "I hope to strengthen our mutual during this visit and to use the five years of my term in office to promote Franco-Chinese relations and European-Chinese relations," said Macron, standing with his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, ahead of a meeting at a guesthouse. said he wanted to "strengthen collective security" and promote joint efforts to fight climate change. Xi welcomed in unusually effusive language.

He noted was the first Western country to form diplomatic ties with the Communist and recalled that then-and Chinese leader met in 1964. "and are both great countries with splendid histories and the exchange and influence between us has deep historical significance for the world," Xi said. During their meeting, and Xi discussed climate change, Chinese-French relations and Xi's "Belt and Road Initiative" to build across and Europe, state television reported. The French leader said ahead of the meeting he wanted to talk about and fighting terrorist financing, but there was no immediate word on whether those were discussed. Despite their public warmth, Macron's visit is overshadowed by mounting trade tensions. Britain's departure from the will deprive of a prominent ally in opposing demands for tougher European anti- dumping measures against low-cost Chinese products. Other members including and are pressing to give their companies reciprocity, or the same access to its state-dominated economy that Chinese companies enjoy abroad. Macron, travelling with a French business delegation, wants to secure deals his hopes will produce greater access to China's growing market. The two governments are expected to announce a Franco- Chinese investment fund of more than 1 billion euros (USD 1.2 billion). is France's biggest Asian trading partner but the French side reported a 30 billion euro (USD 36 billion) trade deficit last year. Earlier today, began his visit in the western city of Xi'an, where he said he would propose to Xi a joint "year of ecological transition" to mobilise their governments and companies. "I will ask Xi to take a new step in our French-Chinese relationship, to engage in a climate battle," said in a speech. said could help, especially in Africa, with "Belt and Road," Xi's signature foreign initiative. "has the experience of unilateral imperialism in Africa, which sometimes led to the worst," he said. "And today, with the new Silk Road being created, I think that the partnership between and can avoid repeating these mistakes." The and the state-run Development Bank are to sign a cooperation agreement for co- financing of projects to fight climate change in British is to visit this month as part of her government's effort to nurture a new global role following its departure from the in 2019. That comes after a British-Chinese economic dialogue in December at which the two sides pledged to promote as a center for transactions in China's yuan currency. Also this week, a former British prime minister, David Cameron, is scheduled to meet Chinese leaders as of a 750 million pound (USD 1 billion) fund to invest in railways, ports and other facilities between and

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, January 08 2018. 20:05 IST
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