Emmanuel Macron, the French president, and Xi Jinping, the Chinese president, met on Thursday in Beijing to discuss the Ukraine conflict. Macron has said that the West must work with China to help resolve the problem and stop tensions from “escalating,” which might lead to a rift between major world powers.
Xi also requested that Macron urge Russia to adhere to the treaty banning the spread of nuclear weapons. After years of deteriorating ties with Beijing on problems including rights abuse in Xinjiang, investment treaties, and China’s reluctance to deride Russia for its invasion of Ukraine, EU leaders are visiting the country.
Before meeting Xi, Macron met with Premier Li Qiang, and the two men participated in a lavish ceremony outside the Great Hall, during which they walked hand in hand down a red carpet and saw a 21-gun salute.
Xi remarked that while the globe faces significant historical changes, China and France have the potential and obligation to overcome “differences” and “restraints.” In Beijing, Macron played the “good cop” while von der Leyen played the “bad cop,” with Macron advocating for a “reset” in relations and von der Leyen outlining the more contentious topics and red lines.
Macron clasped Xi’s hands during a lengthy handshake and patted the Chinese leader on the back amiably. Just days before the visit, von der Leyen had said that Europe must “de-risk” its diplomatic and economic ties with a more isolationist China. China wants France and other European countries to reject what it regards as U.S.-led attempts to curb its rise, and there is room for optimism.
It is hoped that Macron’s visit will enhance political trust between the two countries and lead to greater commercial and trade cooperation between China and France. The visit of French President Emmanuel Macron to China has garnered interest from many forces in Europe and the United States, according to an article published by the Global Times. Von der Leyen and Macron have both stated their want to get China to use its privileged relationship with Moscow to broker peace in the Ukraine conflict or, at the very least, to prevent Beijing from overtly supporting Moscow’s incursion. Macron is also in China to secure economic victories and make deal announcements. Yet not everyone at home agrees this is the best possible message. Left-leaning European Parliament member Raphael Glucksmann tweeted before Macron’s arrival that contract signing is the primary objective.