Xi, Macron agree to cooperate on climate, trade

As China Extends Its Influence Abroad, When Does Influence Become Interference?

President Macron urged to raise human rights during China visit

However, Airbus has offered China a production role for the first time in an attempt to attract new orders.

Le Maire said more balance would mean better access to Chinese markets while protecting French technologies and setting limits on Chinese investments in France.

"He wants to present himself as a leader of the European Union, but at the same time, I think he wants to send a signal that Europe and the European Union are in better shape than many think in China", Duchatel said.

"We are at a crucial point in the world", Macron said alongside Xi after overseeing the signing ceremony, pointing to the common challenges presented by climate change and terrorism.

While no deal has been finalised over the current official visit, Mr Macron said China had assured him it would respect market-share parity between Airbus and Boeing.

Macron's visit to Beijing is meant to strengthen ties between China and France and also to stabilize trade relations between Europe and Beijing, reports the French media.

France and China have promoted themselves as leaders in fighting global warming following Trump's decision to withdraw from the Paris climate agreements.

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The French leader downplayed the lack of other big deals during his visit, saying other countries had trumpeted big figures in the past that masked more modest realities.

The push back against Chinese technology investments overseas has continued this week during French President Emanuel Macron's visit to China, with one official suggesting China's practices amount to "looting".

He took the opportunity to witness the signing of a contract with the Chinese online sales giant who has committed to sell on its platforms for 2 billion euros of French products to Chinese consumers over the next two years, while being ready to set up in France. "And today, with the new Silk Road being created, I think that the partnership between France and China can avoid repeating these mistakes".

Now the USA holds the title for the biggest aviation market in the world but China is expected to steal the crown by 2022, leaving Airbus and its rivals battling for business in the Asian nation.

Macron forged the slogan - an echo of USA president Donald Trump's "make America great again" - a year ago to show his continued support for the Paris Agreement in the face of Trump's decision to withdraw the US.

Accompanied by students from the French global school, Mr Macron and his wife Brigitte walked through the imperial palaces of the Forbidden City.

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