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Xi Jinping plans 5 day tour to European countries with economic opportunities

Xi Jinping’s visit to France, Serbia and Hungary starting on 5 May aims to deepen economic ties with Europe and drive a wedge between the EU and the US.
President Xi Jinping Meets with French President Emmanuel
President Xi Jinping Meets with French President Emmanuel Macron in Bali, 2022. Credit: Chinese Foreign Ministry
Xi Jinping plans 5 day tour to European countries with economic opportunities

According to the Foreign Ministry in Beijing, Chinese President Xi Jinping is embarking on a five-day trip to France, Serbia and Hungary starting on 5 May.

Bloomberg reports that President Xi will visit top European diplomats with the message: Beijing offers a more significant economic opportunity for the European Union than the US acknowledges.

The visit by Xi will be his first trip to Europe in five years and “will give new impetus to peaceful development around the world,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Lin Jian said.

The Chinese President’s trip to Europe will last from 5 May to 10 May. Xi Jinping reportedly plans to visit France on May 6-7, the French President’s office said. The main issues on the agenda are expected to be Ukraine and the Middle East wars.

According to people familiar with the plans, French President Emmanuel Macron aims to deepen his connection with Xi during the two-day visit to France. Macron also seeks to entice Chinese spending into France’s electric vehicle battery sector. The charm offensive will include hosting Xi for dinner at the Elysee Palace in Paris.

China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi told Macron’s diplomatic adviser on Saturday that he hopes Paris can push the EU to pursue a pragmatic policy toward Beijing.

Macron and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen will also hold a trilateral meeting with Xi during his visit, her chief spokesman wrote on social media platform X.

An associate professor of political science at the National University of Singapore, Chong Ja Ian, said that this trip “is an effort to try to pull at parts of Europe that Xi feels might be more sympathetic to his position.”

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