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French President Calls for Trade Balance in Visit to China

2018-01-12

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[00:00.00]
  • Observers say French President Emmanuel Macron communicated two important messages during his recent visit to China.
  • [00:12.62]
  • One was about the huge possibilities cooperation between China and Europe could bring and Macron’s support of that effort.
  • [00:25.74]
  • The other was a warning not to underestimate European concern about China’s possibly unfair trade practices.
  • [00:38.25]
  • These include Chinese restrictions on investment in many businesses and industries.
  • [00:46.18]
  • Matheiu Duchatel is deputy director of the Asia and China Program at the European Council of Foreign Relations.
  • [00:58.05]
  • He said that Macron’s visit will influence actions not only in France, but in other countries also.
  • [01:08.78]
  • “He wants to present himself as a leader” of the European Union (EU),” Duchatel said.
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  • “But at the same time, I think he wants to send a signal that Europe and the EU are in better shape than many think in China,” he noted.
  • [01:29.82]
  • Duchatel said that Europe, the United States and Australia are all expressing growing concern about China’s trade practices.
  • [01:43.01]
  • “Many (people) are coming to terms with the reality that China is no longer the factory of the world,” he added.
  • [01:53.02]
  • “But it is clearly a country that has very strong ambitions in terms of economic leadership for the world and it is not a market economy.”
  • [02:07.32]
  • Macron presented Chinese leader Xi Jinping with a gift of an 8-year old horse named Vesuvius.
  • [02:19.24]
  • He promised to visit China at least once every year while he serves as France’s president.
  • [02:28.68]
  • He also said that he is ready to work to “get the Europe-China relationship into the 21st Century.”
  • [02:39.10]
  • The two sides signed major trade deals during the visit.
  • [02:45.10]
  • China’s president said the two countries will deepen their “strategic cooperation.”
  • [02:53.49]
  • During his first stop in Xi’an, Macron expressed French support for China’s huge trade and commerce project, the “Belt and Road” initiative.
  • [03:07.88]
  • Xi’an was once the starting point of the Silk Road, the name for roads and transportation links used by traders many centuries ago.
  • [03:21.32]
  • In a speech, Macron noted that the ancient Silk Roads were never only Chinese.
  • [03:29.49]
  • “By definition these roads can only be shared,” he told a meeting of business people, students and professors.
  • [03:39.69]
  • “If they are roads, they cannot be one-way.”
  • [03:44.38]
  • On Tuesday, Macron met with Alibaba founder Jack Ma and officials of other Chinese and French companies.
  • [03:56.21]
  • In a speech, the president talked about the possibilities cooperation could bring.
  • [04:03.89]
  • But he warned about the threat of protectionism if changes were not made.
  • [04:11.14]
  • I’m Caty Weaver.
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