In Paris, Euro-Chinese tensions over trade but a common call for an “Olympic truce” – rts.ch

In Paris, Euro-Chinese tensions over trade but a common call for an “Olympic truce” – rts.ch
In Paris, Euro-Chinese tensions over trade but a common call for an “Olympic truce” – rts.ch

At the start of his state visit to France, in the presence of Ursula Von der Leyen, Chinese President Xi Jinping was able to note on Monday a new firmness displayed by Europeans in the face of accumulating trade tensions. He more consensually supported the “Olympic truce” defended by Emmanuel Macron.

For the 60th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic relations, Xi Jinping was welcomed in Paris by his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron, who still hopes to position his country as a “balancing power” in the face of the Sino-American standoff.

Welcome with fanfare at the Invalides, red carpet and banquet at the Elysée: for his first European tour since 2019, the number one of the Asian superpower was entitled to every respect.

>> Details in 12:30 p.m.:

Xi Jinping on two-day state visit to France / 12:30 p.m. / 1 ​​min. / yesterday at 12:35

But the leaders, joined at the start of the day by the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen, did not try to hide the tensions which are accumulating on trade. Emmanuel Macron explained that he wanted to raise “in all friendship and trust” the “concerns, to try to overcome them”, calling for “fair” trade rules.

The European Union “will not hesitate to take firm decisions” to “protect its economy and its security”, underlined Ursula Von der Leyen, who was present to display a united continental front on trade issues, even if the Germany is often accused of going it alone to preserve its car exports to the world’s second largest economy.

The head of the European executive had previously warned that Europe could “not accept” the “unfair trade” caused by the influx of electric vehicles or Chinese steel manufactured thanks to “massive subsidies”.

>> Reread: Chinese President Xi Jinping begins his European tour in France

Electric cars and cognac

“The so-called ‘problem of China’s overcapacity’ does not exist,” Xi Jinping replied, estimating that “China’s new energy industry” on the contrary “made it possible to increase global supply and ‘relieve the pressure of global inflation’.

Trade disputes are numerous and could lead to increases in customs taxes. Threatened with being caught between the American and Chinese economies, massively aided by public authorities, the European Union has in recent months increased investigations into Chinese state subsidies to several industrial sectors, notably to electric vehicles.

In Beijing, European measures are considered “protectionist”. The Chinese authorities have launched their own anti-subsidy investigation mainly targeting French cognac, against which the French president intends to speak out.

>> Details from Forum:

Chinese President Xi Jinping in France to begin his European tour / Forum / 2 min. / yesterday at 6:00 p.m.

“Moment of coordination” on Ukraine

More broadly, the international situation “requires this Euro-Chinese dialogue more than ever”, affirmed the French head of state. During a tête-à-tête, which he will repeat on Tuesday during a more personal getaway in the Pyrenees, Emmanuel Macron was able to address the Russian invasion of Ukraine in more depth.

After calling for “decisive” coordination on this sensitive issue, Emmanuel Macron welcomed “Chinese commitments” to “refrain from selling any weapons” to Moscow, and to “strictly control the export of dual-use goods” which can be used for military purposes.

While Xi Jinping must soon welcome his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, of whom he remains the main ally, the French president welcomed a “moment of coordination” which will make it possible to “identify the desire or not to move towards this lasting peace” that Paris and Beijing are calling for.

>> Monitoring of the different wars: Vladimir Putin orders nuclear exercises in response to Western “threats” And Israel seeks to evacuate residents from eastern city of Rafah

No clear support in Moscow

France wants to at least ensure that China, Moscow’s main ally, does not fall into clear support for its war effort against kyiv. Even “encourage her to use the levers” she has over Vladimir Putin to “contribute to a resolution of this conflict”, according to the Elysée, which nevertheless says it is “lucid” about the fact that no breakthrough is to be expected. wait overnight.

The Chinese president defended his “positive role” in finding a political solution, and called not to “smear” China through the Ukrainian issue.

He also publicly called, together with Emmanuel Macron, “for a truce throughout the world on the occasion of the Paris Olympic Games” from July 26 to August 11.

afp/asch

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