02
May
2024
Publications Briefings de l'Ifri
Le président Emmanuel Macron accueille le président chinois Xi Jinping, Palais de l'Elysée, mars 2018

Xi Jinping’s Visit to France: Stumbling Blocks Pile Up on the Path of Bilateral Cooperation Ifri Memos, Ifri, May 2, 2024

On May 6 and 7, Chinese President Xi Jinping will pay a state visit to France, his first to Europe since 2019 and the Covid-19 pandemic. Emmanuel Macron and Xi Jinping will celebrate Franco-Chinese friendship and the sixtieth anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between their two countries. It comes at a time when the bilateral relationship is officially perceived as positive on both sides, especially after the French President’s visit to China in April 2023.

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However, beneath the diplomatic varnish, obstacles are piling up, and the space for cooperation between the two countries is receding.

Of the four major areas of cooperation on the visit’s agenda – Ukraine, economic relations, human and cultural exchanges, and global challenges – the first three are already facing significant limitations. Beyond the strictly bilateral relationship, the two heads of state have radically different visions of and for Europe.

Finally, there is a number of issues that remain absent from the discussions, which are not likely to ease tensions: the Taiwan Strait, nuclear arms control and Chinese interference in Europe. They will need to be addressed sooner or later.

Xi Jinping’s Visit to France: Stumbling Blocks Pile Up on the Path of Bilateral Cooperation
Keywords
Emmanuel Macron French Foreign Policy Sino-French Relations Xi Jinping China France