Xi Jinping Holds Talks with Macron in France over Ukraine Conflict, Highlights Warm Sino-French Relations

Paris, France – Chinese President Xi Jinping embarked on a state visit to France on Sunday, welcomed by French President Emmanuel Macron. The visit, marking 60 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries, signifies Xi’s first trip to Europe since 2019. The trip, also including visits to Serbia and Hungary, highlights the warmth in Sino-French relations following Macron’s state visit to China in April 2023.

Upon his arrival, Xi and his wife Peng Liyuan were greeted by French Prime Minister Gabriel Attal at a rainy Paris Orly airport. The visit is anticipated to involve a day of talks in Paris on Monday, with the attendance of EU Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen, followed by a state banquet at the Elysee hosted by Macron. Tuesday will see a more private discussion as Macron takes Xi to the Pyrenees mountains.

Xi expressed his desire to collaborate with the international community to find resolutions to the conflict arising from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Macron’s key focus will be cautioning Xi against supporting Russia, as Western officials fear China’s involvement may escalate the conflict. Macron stressed the importance of China’s contribution to stability in the international order.

Macron aims to emphasize the strategic interests of Europe in its economic ties with China, citing concerns over Beijing’s adherence to international trade regulations. Human rights groups are urging Macron to address China’s violations of human rights, including the treatment of the Uyghur Muslim minority and repression of journalists. However, analysts remain doubtful of Macron’s influence over Xi during the discussions.

The visit’s significance lies in the delicate balance of diplomatic relations between France, China, and other global powers. Macron’s efforts to navigate these complex dynamics will shape the course of future interactions between these nations. As Xi’s tour progresses through Europe, the implications of his discussions with leaders like Macron will reverberate across the international stage.