BEIJING (AA): French President Emmanuel Macron arrived in Beijing on Wednesday on a three-day state visit to China, state media reported.
Macron is leading a large delegation that will stay in China until Thursday.
“President Xi (Jinping) will hold talks with him (Emmanuel Macron) to jointly chart the course for China-France relations and exchange views on major international and regional issues,” Hua Chunying, spokeswoman for China’s Foreign Ministry, said on Twitter.
“China and France are both permanent members of the UN Security Council and major countries in the world. China is ready to work with France for new deliverables as we advance a close and enduring comprehensive strategic partnership,” she said late Tuesday.
Ahead of the Beijing flight, Macron spoke to his US counterpart Joe Biden on Tuesday.
The duo “confirmed their objective of convincing Xi to be a mediator between Russia and Ukraine,” French daily Le Point noted, citing the French Presidency.
Macron will also meet with Chinese Premier Li Qiang and National People’s Congress (NPC) Chairman Zhao Leji. The China-France trade volume has risen to over $74 billion last year.
Chinese Ambassador to France Lu Shaye has said former French Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin, President of the French Constitutional Council Laurent Fabius, ministers, lawmakers, and over 60 leaders of large enterprises will accompany Macron during his third visit to China, which is also his first during his second term as the French president.
French musician Jean-Michel Jarre, and movie director Jean-Jacques Annaud, are also reportedly accompanying Macron for the cultural aspect of the visit.
He is also scheduled to visit the city of Guangzhou in southeast province of Guangdong.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen is also scheduled to pay an official visit to China on the same dates and will also separately meet Xi.
This year marks the 20th anniversary of the China-EU Comprehensive Strategic Partnership.
“The sound and steady development of China-EU relations is in the interests of both sides and conducive to world peace and stability. In the face of the volatile international situation, rising global security challenges and sluggish economic recovery, it is important that China and the EU uphold the spirit of mutual respect and win-win cooperation, overcome disruptions and difficulties, and focus on consensus and cooperation,” the Chinese Foreign Ministry had said.