Macron and Xi talk trade on visit to Paris amid subsidy spat

Chinese President Xi Jinping begins his official state visit to France as tensions over electric vehicles and state subsidies simmer.


President Xi Jinping is meeting his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron in a rare visit to Paris, as part of a European trip which will include heading to Serbia and Hungary for further talks.

Macron and Xi are being joined by head of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen, who is discussing broader concerns for the EU.

Both Western leaders are poised to issue stern warnings regarding trade.

The state visit comes against a backdrop of simmering tensions over state subsidies for Chinese products in the EU, which provoked the European Commission to launch an investigation last year.

These subsidies, some leaders argue, allow Chinese manufacturers to keep their costs down, meaning that they can offer cheaper prices to consumers while squeezing European competitors out of the market.

Ahead of his trip, President Xi nonetheless sought to downplay the dispute.

Ties between China and France are “a model for the international community of peaceful coexistence and win-win cooperation between countries with different social systems,” he said.

A similar tone of de-escalation was adopted by Chinese state media.

“China-EU economic and trade cooperation is huge, and bumps and bruises are inevitable,” the People’s Daily, the Communist Party’s flagship paper, wrote. 

“China is willing to strengthen communication and coordination with the EU, promote cooperation and resolve differences through dialogue.”

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