Macron aims for China trip to discuss energy and defense with Xi

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(Bloomberg) — Emmanuel Macron is planning a trip to China to discuss energy, trade and Russia’s war against Ukraine with President Xi Jinping, according to people familiar with his thinking.

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While no date has been set yet, the French president will try to make the trip at the end of April, the people said, asking not to be identified because the appointments are private.

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China’s foreign ministry did not respond to a request for comment.

Macron’s planned visit would come as the European Union attempts to recalibrate its trade position with both China and the US. The EU is working on a new industrial policy after Washington passed a climate law that the bloc’s leaders say unfairly subsidizes domestic companies.

Diplomatic ties between Paris and Beijing were strained during the Covid pandemic, as the Chinese embassy criticized France’s response to the pandemic.

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But in a sign that France is looking to improve relations, Xi and Macron spoke in November on the sidelines of the Group of 20 meeting in Bali, their first meeting in three years. In December, French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna met with her counterpart Wang Yi.

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