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AP: Emmanuel Macron holds talks Xi Jinping amid spy, trade crises, and Russia’s war

Xi’s visit to France signals an attempt to strengthen economic and political ties with the EU, with Xi pledging to suspend aid to Moscow.
President Xi Jinping Meets with French President Emmanuel
President Xi Jinping Meets with French President Emmanuel Macron in Bali, 2022. Credit: Chinese Foreign Ministry
AP: Emmanuel Macron holds talks Xi Jinping amid spy, trade crises, and Russia’s war

On 6 May, French President Emmanuel Macron held talks with Chinese leader Xi Jinping that focused on trade disputes and Ukraine-related diplomatic efforts in Paris, according to the Associated Press.

After their meeting, Macron said that France hoped China would pressure Moscow to end its war against Ukraine. China claims neutrality in the war.

In April 2024, reports emerged on Chinese aid for Russia, including a range of critical materials for the manufacture of cruise missiles, drones, and military optics for tanks and armored vehicles for the Kremlin’s war machine.

The West, especially the US, criticized China for the assistance, with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken visiting the country and meeting top officials. He also said the US had evidence that China attempted to “influence and arguably interfere” in the US elections in 2024, despite an earlier commitment from Chinese leader Xi Jinping not to do so.

Moreover, recently Germany arrested an individual identified as Jian G. by German authorities, who served as an assistant to Maximilian Krah, a member of the European Parliament and the leading candidate for the far-right populist AfD in the upcoming parliament election this June. Jian was accused of spying for China.

The visit of Xi Jinping to France is, apparently, another attempt to establish economic and political ties between China and the EU, with Xi Jinping pledging to suspend the aid to Moscow.

“We welcome the Chinese authorities’ commitments to refrain from selling any weapons or aid” and to “strictly control” sales of products and technologies that can be used for both civilian and military purposes, Macron said.

Furthermore, Xi expressed China’s readiness to collaborate with France, proposing that the Paris Olympics serve as a platform to promote a worldwide halt to hostilities and cessation of combat actions during the games.

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