Skip to content

PARIS, May 7, 2024 (EIRNS)—Xi Jinping’s May 6-7 French visit is coming to an end today, following a visit to Mongié in the High Pyrenees department. That part of the visit was a personal element Macron added, which could help to explain the decision by President Macron to set geopolitics aside, in the case of China, something which will indeed have a international positive impact. This was the place where Macron’s grandmother lived, with whom he had had a very good relationship. She was a school teacher, who taught him how to read and write, and who played an important element in all major decisions he took, including his marriage to Brigitte.

In general, media coverage of their discussions at the summit has been abysmal so far. Xi and Macron took everybody by surprise, and the secret services and the media are perhaps working full time to develop a new offensive in the days ahead! Some are sore that Xi Jinping agreed to check that China was not sending any weapons to Putin. And concerning the two war scenarios in Gaza and Ukraine, the only decision made was to support a truce for all players involved—which unfortunately lumps the Israelis and the Russians together. Concerning the Chinese accusations that French cognac exporters are dumping to China, Xi said that he would not impose sanctions, until the investigation demonstrates whether such dumping may have occurred.

With respect to concrete results of the trip, the two Presidents had a heavy agenda. They met the Franco-Chinese business community in France, where both Presidents made some significant announcements for the months to come. There are currently more than 2,000 French companies operating in China. Macron said: “We welcome more Chinese investors in France and will protect their work.” And he noted that, in terms of foreign direct investments, France had made three times more in China than vice-versa. Also, France has a trade deficit of €46 billion with China. The idea is to balance all that, he said, repeating that there will be no decoupling between both countries.

Macron remarks that China has a lot of know-how in batteries, electric vehicles, photovoltaic panels, and precursors to batteries. This is one area where more involvement by Beijing will be encouraged, as well as in agricultural exchanges (beef and, in particular, pork), and also as well as cosmetics, finance and insurance. A common statement was signed on agricultural questions.

Macron mentioned that China and France would pursue work in global reforms including cooperation, the fight against poverty, rebuilding the financial and economic world architecture. One of these areas of global concern is artificial intelligence. China will be holding a world congress this year to examine the positive use of AI, but also the needed control of those technologies. Macron announced that Paris would organize a followup congress in 2025, where he will include China at the highest level of organizing. The two signed a joint declaration on AI.

Regarding the war in the Southwest Asia, Macron and Xi Jinping agreed to sign a 10-point decided to sign the following “China-France Joint Statement on the Situation in the Middle East”:

At the invitation of H.E. Emmanuel Macron, President of the French Republic, H.E. Xi Jinping, President of the People’s Republic of China, paid a state visit to France from May 5 to 7, 2024. The two heads of state had an in-depth exchange of views on the situation in the Middle East:

1. As permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, China and France are working together to find constructive solutions, based on international law, to the challenges and threats to international security and stability.

2. China and France condemn all violations of international humanitarian law, including all acts of terrorist violence and indiscriminate attacks against civilians. They recall the absolute imperative of protecting civilians in Gaza in accordance with international humanitarian law. The two heads of state expressed their opposition to an Israeli offensive on Rafah, which would lead to a humanitarian disaster on a larger scale, as well as to forced displacement of Palestinian civilians. 

3. The two heads of state stressed that an immediate and sustainable ceasefire is urgently needed to enable the delivery of large-scale humanitarian aid and the protection of civilians in the Gaza Strip. They called for the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages and the guarantee of humanitarian access to meet their medical and other humanitarian needs, as well as respect for international law with regard to all detainees. They called for the immediate and effective implementation of relevant United Nations resolutions, in particular Security Council resolutions 2712, 2720 and 2728. This is the only credible way to guarantee peace and security for all and to ensure that neither Palestinians nor Israelis will suffer from the horrors they have experienced since the attack on October 7, 2023.

4. The two heads of state called for the effective opening of all necessary corridors and crossing points to enable rapid, safe, sustainable and unhindered delivery of humanitarian aid throughout the Gaza Strip. The two heads of state stressed the importance of strengthening the coordination of international humanitarian efforts.

5. The two heads of state called on all parties to refrain from unilateral measures on the ground that might aggravate tensions, and in this respect condemned Israel’s policy of settlement construction, which violates international law and constitutes a major obstacle to lasting peace as well as to the possibility of establishing a viable and contiguous State of Palestine. The two heads of state reiterated that the future governance of Gaza cannot be dissociated from a comprehensive political settlement of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict based on the two-State solution.

6. The two heads of state called for a decisive and irreversible relaunch of a political process to concretely implement the two-State solution, with Israel and Palestine living side by side in peace and security, both with Jerusalem as their capital, and the establishment of a viable, independent and sovereign State of Palestine based on the 1967 borders. The two heads of state reaffirmed their commitment to this solution, which is the only way to meet the legitimate aspirations of the Israeli and Palestinian people for lasting peace and security.

7. The two heads of state also expressed deep concern over the risk of escalation in the region, and called for the prevention of regional turbulence. China and France are working with their partners to deescalate the situation and call on all parties to exercise restraint.

8. China and France reaffirm their commitment to promoting a political and diplomatic solution to the Iranian nuclear issue. The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action concluded in 2015 is a major outcome of multilateral diplomacy. The two countries are concerned about the risks of escalation, recall the importance of cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency and facilitation of diplomatic efforts, and reaffirm their commitment to safeguarding the international non-proliferation regime and promoting peace and stability in the Middle East.

9. The two heads of state stressed the importance of safeguarding freedom of navigation in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden, and called for an immediate cessation of attacks on civilian vessels to safeguard maritime security and global trade and prevent regional tensions and humanitarian and environmental risks.

10. The two heads of state called for the observance of the Olympic Truce during the 2024 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games. The Olympic Truce calls on all parties to stop hostilities throughout the Games. As conflicts spread and tensions rise, the Truce is an opportunity to work toward a durable resolution of conflicts in full respect of international law.