Xi Jinping in Paris: Chinese President calls for global truce during Olympics

The French President welcomed, on Monday May 6, the desire expressed by his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, to “ask all stakeholders for an Olympic truce during our upcoming Games

Xi Jinping in Paris: Chinese President calls for global truce during Olympics

The French President welcomed, on Monday May 6, the desire expressed by his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, to “ask all stakeholders for an Olympic truce during our upcoming Games.” “We believe together” that this initiative “can be an opportunity to work towards a lasting settlement in full respect of international law,” assured Mr. Macron. The French head of state also welcomed Chinese "commitments" to "refrain from selling any weapons" to Moscow, during a press statement alongside the President of the People's Republic of China, Xi Jinping, visiting Paris on May 6 and 7.

For his part, the Chinese president called not to “smear” his country on the Ukrainian issue, Beijing playing, according to him, a “positive role” in finding a peaceful solution to the war. “We oppose using the Ukraine crisis to shift blame to others, smear a third country and trigger a new Cold War,” Xi said in reference to recurring Western criticism of the China-China relationship. Russia.

Earlier in the day, Mr Macron called in front of his counterpart for “fair rules for all” in trade between Europe and China – as disputes mount between Europe and Middle Kingdom –, and “decisive” coordination on the war in Ukraine. “I thank the president [Chinese, Xi Jinping] (…) for his openness regarding the provisional measures on French cognac and his wish not to see them applied,” the French head of state also declared to the press , at the end of the day.

Mr. Macron, who still hopes to place France as a “balancing power” in the Sino-American standoff, is celebrating 60 years of bilateral diplomatic relations with his Chinese counterpart, who arrived the day before in Paris for his first European tour since 2019.

“The international situation, very clearly, requires this Euro-Chinese dialogue more than ever,” affirmed Emmanuel Macron at the opening of the exchanges, while some of his opponents, such as the Socialist candidate for the European elections in June, Raphaël Glucksmann , accuse him of “rolling out the red carpet” in an “obsequious” manner for a “dictator”.

“The future of our continent will also very clearly depend on our ability to continue to develop relations with China in a balanced manner,” he said at the Elysée at the opening of a three-way meeting attended by also from the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen.

"As two major world powers, China and the European Union [EU] should remain partners, continue dialogue and cooperation, deepen strategic communication, enhance strategic mutual trust, consolidate strategic consensus, and carry out strategic coordination,” Xi Jinping told his interlocutors at the start of this trilateral meeting.

“This is in order to promote the steady and healthy development of China-European Union relations and to continuously make new contributions to world peace and development,” continued the number one of the Asian superpower. The EU officially considers China a partner, but also a competitor and a systemic rival.

President Macron explained that he wanted to raise "in all friendship and trust" the "concerns, to try to overcome them", warning against "a logic of decoupling which would be harmful" on the economic level, and advocating "fair rules for all ".

The boss of the Brussels executive also asked for “equal access to markets”. Before the meeting, she insisted that Europe could “not accept” “unfair trade” caused by the influx of electric vehicles or Chinese steel made with “massive subsidies”. The EU “will not hesitate to take firm decisions” if necessary to “protect its economy and its security”, declared the President of the Commission.

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

After a formal welcome with great fanfare at the start of the afternoon at the Invalides, the Franco-Chinese duo will have a more political tête-à-tête, followed by statements to the press and a banquet at the Elysée.

The French president plans to ask his Chinese counterpart to support the “Olympic truce” during the Paris Games this summer. “Coordination” with Beijing on the “major crises” in Ukraine and the Middle East is “absolutely decisive”, he insisted on Monday. Paris wants to ensure that China, the main ally of the President of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin, does not fall into clear support for the war effort against kyiv. Even “encourage it to use the levers” it has over Moscow to “contribute to a resolution of this conflict”, according to the Elysée.

“China and the European Union have a shared interest in peace and security,” stressed Ms. von der Leyen, affirming her “determination to stop the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine and to establish a just and peaceful peace. sustainable ". “We have an interest in demonstrating that our collaboration is producing its effects,” insisted the President of the Commission, referring to the “challenge” of the “substantial economic relationship” between Brussels and Beijing.

The EU and France are therefore counting on China to “use all its influence on Russia” to stop the war in Ukraine, she continued after the interview. Ursula von der Leyen and Emmanuel Macron also called on the Chinese president to make “more efforts to limit the delivery to Russia of dual equipment [that can be used for civil and military purposes] that ends up on the battlefield » in Ukraine, she added.

The President of the European Commission also said she was “confident” that China would continue to temper Russian nuclear threats. “President Xi has played an important role in de-escalating Russia's irresponsible nuclear threats and I am confident [that] he will continue to do so,” declared Ursula von der Leyen in the French capital, as Moscow has just order the upcoming holding of nuclear exercises.

The two heads of state will travel to the Pyrenees on Tuesday for a more personal getaway, accompanied by their wives.