China wants French companies to invest more, Xi tells Macron

China wants French companies to invest more, Xi tells Macron

BEIJING (Reuters) — China wants more French companies to invest in the country and hopes France will provide a fair and nondiscriminatory business environment for Chinese companies, President Xi Jinping said on Monday.

Xi made the comments in a phone call with French President Emmanuel Macron, Chinese state television reported, fortifying ties with its European trading partner after Macron visited China in April.

China faces an electric vehicle subsidy investigation by the European Union and a looming probe into its steelmakers. Meanwhile, several European countries have complained about China’s opaque laws and rules regarding foreign companies in the country.

“China is willing to maintain high-level exchanges with the French side,” Xi said, adding that he welcomed more French products entering the Chinese market.

Xi also said China was willing to strengthen cooperation with France at the United Nations and other multilateral institutions. China took over the presidency of the U.N. Security Council this month.

The leader of the world’s second-largest economy also called on France to play a constructive role in promoting the positive development of China-EU relations, as ties have been strained over issues ranging from the EU’s push to reduce supply chain reliance on China to the war in Ukraine.

“China and the European Union should remain partners for mutually beneficial cooperation,” Xi said in the call.

The leaders also exchanged views on the conflict in Gaza, agreeing that it was imperative to avoid a further deterioration of the situation, in particular an even more serious humanitarian crisis, state television reported.

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