France's Macron set for visit to Beijing

World | 3 Jan 2018

French President Emmanuel Macron will visit China for three days starting next Monday, after the young leader declared the need for a stronger Europe to face China.

This will be Macron's first state visit to China and the first by a European Union nation leader since the Communist Party's 19th national congress in October.

President Xi Jinping secured a second five-year term as the head of the party at the political meeting, becoming the most powerful Chinese leader in years.

News of the trip comes after Macron, 40, who campaigned on a pro-globalization platform, called on France and all of Europe to return to its former glory during a New Year's address.

"We need to be a more sovereign, more united, more democratic Europe," he said.

"I deeply believe Europe can become that economic, social, environmentally friendly, scientific power that will be able to face China and the United States."

Xi is likewise pursuing the "great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation."

As leaders of two permanent UN Security Council member states, Macron and Xi are expected to discuss the Syrian crisis and North Korea's nuclear program.

The two have met just once before, at the G20 summit in Hamburg last July.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

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