THE STORIES BEHIND THE HEADLINES

Abu Dhabi

London

New York

Tuesday 20th March 2018

France’s Macron to Host Xi, Merkel and Junker at March 26 Meeting

Business

7Dnews London

Fri, 22 Mar 2019 08:51 GMT

France’s Emmanuel Macron will host Chinese President Xi Jinping as well as the leaders of Germany and the European Union's executive arm at a meeting Tuesday March 26th.

According to Reuters, the meeting will see discussions of multilateral relations between Europe and China including those on trade and climate, a French presidency official said. This will highlight France’s expression of the need to recalibrate a more coordinated EU approach to China.

The meeting comes at a time when the EU is weighing up a more defensive strategy on China, spurred on by China's slowness to open up its economy, the growth in Chinese takeovers in critical sectors in Europe, and a feeling in European capitals that Beijing has not stood up for free trade. "This meeting is a first step," the Elysee official said, adding that the meeting would help lay the groundwork for concrete results at a forthcoming EU-China summit on April 9.

Macron, arriving at a summit of EU leaders in Brussels on Thursday March 21st, spoke of a "European awakening" that China is seeking to produce sophisticated products that will compete with those made in Europe. “

"Since the beginning of my mandate I've been calling for a real awareness and for the defence of European sovereignty," Macron told reporters.


Europe