In a significant phone conversation, Chinese President Xi Jinping and French President Emmanuel Macron engaged in talks aimed at deepening economic collaboration between their countries. President Xi expressed China's keen interest in attracting more investment from French companies, emphasizing the desire for a balanced business environment that also favors Chinese firms in France.
The dialogue, reported by Chinese state television, comes as part of ongoing efforts to strengthen ties following Macron's visit to China earlier this year. Amidst concerns about fair competition and transparency, both leaders underscored the importance of equitable rules for foreign companies operating in each other's markets.
President Xi highlighted China's readiness to maintain high-level exchanges and welcomed more French products in the Chinese market, signaling a positive move towards open trade relations. In response, the French side stressed the need for fair competition rules to accompany the opening of the Chinese market to foreign businesses.
One particular issue raised was the demand on French cosmetics companies by Chinese entities to share manufacturing secrets. A French presidential adviser confirmed that this matter was a significant concern, indicating that President Macron personally addressed it in discussions.
In a notable development, China has joined France's 'Buildings Breakthrough' initiative, targeting zero carbon emissions in the building sector by 2030. This collaboration reflects a shared commitment to environmental sustainability.
Beyond economic matters, the two leaders also deliberated on China's role in global institutions, with President Xi calling for France's support in fostering positive China-EU relations. As China assumes the presidency of the U.N. Security Council this month, its contribution to global governance and conflict resolution, particularly in Gaza, was also discussed.
The French side urged China to enhance its support for the UN Palestinian refugee agency, UNRWA, beyond its current annual contribution. This request underscores the broader theme of the conversation: a mutual endeavor to address global challenges through strengthened bilateral and multilateral cooperation.