Macron starts 3-day state visit to China

French President Emmanuel Macron is set to start a three-day visit to China on Monday, during which he will attend a major international trade fair in Shanghai and push for greater European access to the market of the world's second-largest economy.

Apart from holding talks with President Xi Jinping, Macron will attend the opening ceremony of the second China International Import Expo in Shanghai on November 5. The event will feature other top European leaders and officials, including incoming EU Trade Commissioner Phil Hogan.

Trade related issues are expected to dominate Macron's visit, which comes as the European Union and China seek to hammer out a comprehensive agreement on investment by next year.

According to officials, Macron will be accompanied by a large delegation of business leaders- from global giants to small firms - to promote French exports to China.

Human Rights Watch, meanwhile, urged the French president on October 31 to use his visit to Beijing for outlining the alleged human rights abuses in Xinjiang and raise the issue of Hong Kong protests.

Beijing has repeatedly rejected any abuse of citizen rights in these two regions, slamming all allegations to the contrary as an interference in its internal affairs.