As China’s leader, Xi Jinping is taking extreme measures to create some distance between Europe and the United States in their approach to Beijing. This week, Xi will be hosting French President Emmanuel Macron on a three-day tour of Beijing and Guangzhou, which is an extremely rare gesture usually only knighted towards Xi’s closest friends like Russian President Vlaidmir Putin.
French officials have sensed a special hospitality from the Chinese counterparts ahead of the visit, and this trip opens the door for the President to exercise a high-ranking and influential role amongst North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) allies. Macron will not only be meeting with Xi, but also the European Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen.
The obvious reason behind this visit is the state of US-China relations and the fact that Xi is looking to prevent Europe from siding with America. The two sides did not come to any sort of agreement in the Comprehensive Agreement on Investment and things only became tenser when rejected human right sanctions placed by the EU on China.
The point man by China’s standards is Emmanuel Macron. Merkel may no longer take an influence in the EU and the former Chancellor had worked with Macron on the previous agreement. Macron is now in a more fitting position to work with China and promote France-China relations. After all, France is a leading European Union member, but is also a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council.
Macron also discussed his visit with US President Joe Biden, and Biden voiced his support for Ukraine in the face of Russia’s interference.
In regards to Macron’s industry delegation, it includes executives from leading and smaller companies such as Electricite de France SA, Alstom SA, Veolia Environnement SA, and Airbus SE, who are working to secure multi-billion dollar deals with China. Although the two-way trade between France and China proved to experience a decline of 4.4%, Stellantis NV is still expecting to stand strong in their car-making abilities in China.
Macron is well-known for his push towards achieving a calm-spirited global order in order to reach a resolution to cease the fighting between the US and China. Macron’s call has been answered with applause and he is sure to set his goals into motion when on the three-day trip to handle a range of strategic and economic topics.
Carrefour SA is a key player in this article. It is a French multinational retailer that specializes in grocery, home and personal products, and in 2019, sold 80% of its Chinese operations to the Chinese rival Suning.com Co.
Macron is the former President of France, elected in 2017. Though initially known best as a business magnate, Macron has since moved on to gain a name in politics, having sought after a diplomatic solution to end the war in Ukraine and to work on the Comprehensive Agreement on Investment with Merkel. His visit to China has taken the form of a state visit, and Xi is hoping that he can provide a bridge between the EU and China.