China’s President Xi Jinping has expressed hope that his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron will help rebuild his country’s relationship with the European Union.
The Communist state has been on a steady drift away from the West in recent years, with both sides now regularly imposing tariffs and sanctions on imports from each other.
Speaking to Macron over the phone on November 20, Xi reportedly said that he was keen to repair relations with Brussels and went on to request that the French President help him in this effort.
“China and the European Union should remain partners for mutually beneficial co-operation,” Xi said during the call.
He also expressed his desire to see more French companies invest in China despite Western efforts to divest from the country. Xi said that both countries should aim to work together more closely within the likes of the United Nations.
German foreign minister Annalena Baerbock has labelled Chinese President Xi Jinping a “dictator”, much to the outrage of the Chinese government. https://t.co/ZdMa34TJJA
— Brussels Signal (@brusselssignal) September 19, 2023
Although Macron’s response to Xi’s apparent fig leaf is not yet known, Chinese media outlets are reporting that the two statesmen found common ground on the issue of the current Israel-Palestine conflict.
According to Chinese news sources, both leaders exchanged views on the matter, with Xinhua describing the two as agreeing it was “imperative to avoid further deterioration of the Palestinian-Israeli situation”.
Both parties also allegedly agreed “that the two-state solution is the fundamental way to solve the cycle of Palestinian-Israeli conflicts”.
While yet to be confirmed by an official outlet of the French Government, such a statement appears to be largely in keeping with Macron’s stance on the situation in the Middle East.
He has so far been keen to address both sides of the divide, attempting to both strongly condemn the Hamas attacks on civilians while denouncing Israeli military action in Gaza, which he has said risks killing a disproportionate number of civilians.
This approach has put him at odds with much of the European Commission. EC President Ursula von der Leyen in particular has come out in hard-line support of Israel.
More left-leaning countries within the bloc have decided to back Palestine instead. Among them, Ireland and Portugal have been some of the most critical voices of Israel within the EU.
Ten French ambassadors in the Middle East have written to President Macron to oppose his “pro-Israeli” stance in the Israel-Hamas war. https://t.co/Vz0iPhGIDt
— Brussels Signal (@brusselssignal) November 14, 2023