Chinese and French flags
11 January 2018

Relations between France and China are entering a new era

Tackling climate change and trade relations were among the top priorities for the President of the Republic's official visit to China (8-10 January 2017), and this is why several ministers and a delegation of 50 chief executives (multinationals, SMEs and start-ups) joined him on the trip. The two countries were thus able to commit to a raft of agreements and contracts.

The choice of the city of Xi’an as the first stop for the President of the Republic on his first official visit to China was highly symbolic: it occupies a key place in China's history, not least as a departure point of the Silk Road.

It was thus a meaningful choice to underscore the strategic importance that the partnership with China represents for France and Europe: while there, the President championed a coordinated approach on the part of Europe to protect investments in strategic sectors and his counterpart, Xi Jinping, praised France's growing role in European integration.

A Franco-Chinese year of ecological transition

In Xi’an, the President of the Republic confirmed his commitment to re-engage in the climate issues alongside China, highlighting the latter's leading role in the matter. He particularly suggested organising a Franco-Chinese year of ecological transition in 2018-2019.

Agreements in a spirit of reciprocity

On trade matters, Emmanuel Macron applauded China's Belt and Road initiative, an infrastructure project proposed by the country’s President Xi Jinping.
He nevertheless called for a balanced partnership in a spirit of reciprocity. "These roads are for sharing and cannot be one-way," Emmanuel Macron maintained.
Major headway in terms of trade has been achieved, bearing in particular on:

•    The signature of a memorandum of understanding for a €10bn deal on the construction by Areva of a nuclear waste reprocessing plant.
•    The order of 184 Airbus A320 jets for delivery in 2019-2020.
•    China's commitment to lift the 2001 embargo on French beef within six months.
Portrait of Minister Stéphane Travert
The President of the Republic's first official tour of China has given a fresh boost to our agricultural and agri-food cooperation with the country – a crucial partner for France in this sector.
Stéphane Travert
Minister of Agriculture and Food

Other commitments have also been made in the cultural sphere, including:

•    the opening of a Pompidou Centre franchise gallery in Shanghai,
•    hosting of the Arles International Photography Festival in Xiamen.

Emmanuel Macron has pledged to visit China at least once a year, for "the future needs France, Europe and China."