France signs deals with China

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But like many Western countries, France has a trade deficit with China - to the tune of around $35 billion.

Macron agreed France would like to take an active part in the Belt and Road Initiative, and said France would work with China to address common challenges of the global community such as climate change.

"I can entertain myself by giving China lessons while talking to the French media", he said.

Macron pointed to France's 30 billion euro ($36 billion) trade deficit with China previous year and warned it was politically unsustainable.

Mr. Macron's boost for Airbus comes as the company is struggling to find buyers for the superjumbo A380, making the fast-growing China market crucial.

China regularly splits large orders between Europe and the United States to cope with its fast-expanding airline traffic, but the momentum has recently been with rival Boeing, which sold 300 jets during a visit by US President Donald Trump a year ago.

Other business deals were made during the visit, including one for French state energy giant Areva to help build a nuclear spent fuel reprocessing plant in China.

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During his first stop in Xi'an, Macron talked up China's massive trillion-dollar trade and commerce project, the "Belt and Road" initiative, offering Paris's support, albeit with a caveat.

When addressing the business leaders, Xi reaffirmed China's opening-up policy as well as China's commitment to an open economy at a greater level.

Beijing has praised Macron's decision to choose China for his first state visit to an Asian nation. "If they are roads, they can not be one-way".

Other EU members including France and Germany are pressing Beijing to give their companies reciprocity, or the same access to its state-dominated economy that Chinese companies enjoy overseas. "The A380 is the ideal jet for China in 1993", he said.

Over the past six months, debates have grown in Australia and New Zealand about whether China is wielding more political influence within their borders than at any time in recent memory.

Macron said that too often in the past, European countries had come to China with widely varying agendas with some seeking more openness and others wary of granting more access to their markets.

Beijing had looked to Britain as an ally in the European Union.

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