Macron appeals to China for partnership on climate

China's President Xi Jinping claps after his speech as he and other new Politburo Standing Committee members meet with the press at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing China

The announcement came a day after Macron held talks with Chinese leader Xi Jinping and oversaw the signing of several business deals whose total amount was not disclosed. "We're confident we'll achieve more than symbolic stuff", a French official said, on condition of anonymity. Macron's somewhat urgent visit to China is being seen as part of efforts to win over the Chinese leader in order to boost Europe's standing on world issues, including North Korea issues, as well as trade and climate change.

Macron said he would join Xi's plan to create a trillion-dollar trade and infrastructure network, the One Belt, One Road Initiative across Asia and Europe.

The average inhabitant eats four kilogrammes (8.8 pounds) each year, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. "If they are roads, they can not be one-way". He noted France was the first Western country to form diplomatic ties with the Communist Beijing government and recalled that then-President Charles de Gaulle and Chinese leader Mao Zedong met in 1964.

He also urged European nations to take a more "coordinated approach" on trade with China.

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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. A position he did not hide during the visit.

Some analysts argue that given Chinese President Xi Jinping's frequent stated opposition to protectionism and support for globalization, he has no choice but to press ahead with reforms and soon.

But while the rhetoric has been strong, and TV commentary suggests Macron and his 64-year-old wife Brigitte have been a big hit with the Chinese, the underlying success of state visits is best measured these days in business contracts.

The EU hopes negotiations on an investment pact with China will reach a "decisive stage" this year, the bloc's ambassador to China said separately, calling on Beijing to honour a pledge to open its economy to the world. "But at the same time, China needs the worldwide market to cope with the growing pressure (to open up more) and its slowing economy", Zhang said.

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