Macron set to press China's Xi on trade, Ukraine during Paris visit

Chinese President Xi Jinping on Sunday arrived in France on a state visit hosted by Emmanuel Macron where the French leader will seek to warn his counterpart against backing Russia in the conflict over Ukraine.

Xi's arrival for the visit marking 60 years of diplomatic relations between France and China heralded the start of his first trip to Europe since 2019, which will also see him visit Serbia and Hungary.

But Xi's choice of France as the sole major European power to visit indicates the relative warmth in Sino-French relations since Macron made his own state visit to China in April 2023 and acknowledges the French leader's stature as an EU powerbroker.

The leader of the one-party Communist state of more than 1.4 billion people, accompanied by his wife Peng Liyuan, was welcomed under umbrellas at a drizzly Paris Orly airport by Prime Minister Gabriel Attal.

Tuesday will see Macron take Xi to the Pyrenees mountains to an area he used to visit as a boy for a day of less public and more intimate talks.


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