Home China Amid Tensions With Europe, Xi Jinping To Visit France, Serbia And Hungary

Amid Tensions With Europe, Xi Jinping To Visit France, Serbia And Hungary

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FILE PHOTO: Chinese President Xi Jinping talks with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken (not pictured) at the Great Hall of the People, in Beijing, China, April 26, 2024. Mark Schiefelbein/Pool via REUTERS

Chinese President Xi Jinping is set to visit France, Serbia, and Hungary from May 5-10, marking his first trip to Europe in five years. This visit aims to strengthen ties with the EU at a time when Beijing’s relations with the world’s second-largest economy is tense. Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Lin Jian noted that bilateral relations with France have been growing steadily, with both nations engaging in strategic dialogues and practical cooperation in anticipation of Xi’s visit to France.

“It is time to push the comprehensive strategic partnership between China and France to a new level and give new impetus to the healthy development of China-EU relations, to make new contributions to world peace, stability, development and progress,” Lin said at a regular press conference. “China looks forward to working with France to further enhance political mutual trust, solidarity and cooperation.”

Tit-for-tat trade disputes with the EU have soured relations as Paris backed a European Commission anti-subsidy probe into Chinese electric vehicle imports. China then launched an anti-dumping investigation into brandy, a move seen to be targeting France.

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During his trip, Xi will also hold talks with Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic to exchange views on bilateral relations and discuss upgrading the China-Serbia relationship, Lin said.

Xi will also visit Hungary, a country Lin called an “important cooperation partner for China in promoting the Belt and Road initiative, and China and Central and Eastern European countries’ cooperation.”

With Inputs From Reuters