Chinese President Xi Jinping has expressed a willingness to advance China-France relations, signaling a desire for collaboration following French President Emmanuel Macron's recent visit to India. Macron's visit coincided with the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations between China and France. In a message, President Xi emphasized the need for both countries to forge a path of peace, security, prosperity, and progress, especially considering the current global situation. He pledged to work with Macron to strengthen the comprehensive strategic partnership between China and France.
Xi also announced China's intention to increase imports from France, aiming to boost consumer and investment market demand and expand the import of high-quality products and services. This move aligns with China's commitment to fostering a fair and predictable business environment for Chinese companies operating in France.
China places a high priority on its relationship with France, particularly as Macron advocates for Europe to become a balancing force between the United States and China. Chinese media has urged the two countries to enhance cooperation in high-tech areas, emphasizing the importance of scientific and technological collaboration.
Macron's visit to India, where he was the chief guest at the country's 75th Republic Day celebrations, drew attention from Beijing. France and India unveiled an ambitious defense roadmap and strengthened cooperation in the Indian Ocean and Indo-Pacific region. China is closely monitoring these developments as Paris emerges as a key defense partner to India, aligning with efforts by the US and the European Union to establish India as a counterweight to China.
The joint statement issued after Macron's talks with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi highlighted the significance of defense and security partnership in the Indo-Pacific region. India and France plan to co-develop critical military hardware and intensify cooperation in the Indian Ocean, which raises concerns for China as it seeks to expand its influence in the region.
The global conversation about ensuring a free, open, and thriving Indo-Pacific, in response to China's increasing military activities in the area, involves discussions among the US, India, and several other world powers.
(With Agency Inputs)