Today, French President Macron meets Chinese President Xi in the presence of Chancellor Merkel and European Commission President Juncker. It is about investment and eye-level politics.
By Barbara Kostolnik, ARD Studio Paris
It rarely or never happens that other guests from other countries are invited to state visits of this size, in addition to the actual state guest. But Macron, who likes to think bigger, did just that:
"I wanted to conclude the state visit of my Chinese guest with a meeting on multilateralism, in the presence of Chancellor Merkel and President of the European Commission Juncker".
A strong sign that sets Macron there. Immediately after the first session of the Franco-German parliamentary assembly, the Chancellor will come to Paris, the European Union, or rather,
Together at eye level
Germany and France and the President of the Commission speak to the great power of China. Why? Macron explains:
"We do it for the first time in a bilateral meeting, on the one hand to give the image of a Europe that organizes and works together, and on the other to discuss multilateralism in a good format, the Chinese partners have wished ".
And Macron is too polite and too smart to deny Chinese partners a desire like this. He also likes to talk a lot about multilateralism, it is a question of the heart of the French president. And you can never have enough allies anyway.
It is not possible without China
The French Foreign Minister Le Drian shares the same opinion as its president, because the global challenges of the Trump-e-Putin demand more and more reflections. We cannot reorganize multilateralism and think without China, according to Le Drian. is:
"You can't fight against global warming without having China on your side."
The EU must show unity
Having China on your side is one thing, but which side is China, if not alone? Since T-shirts are no longer copied in China, the country has become a major challenge, becoming a global player, a great competitor. The EU must be closed. Says Macron.
"For countless years, we have not had a common strategy, and China did not care that we were so divided, but this is not a sign of clarity and is not positive for our fellow citizens".
Of course, the European Union is far from being united. The countries of Eastern Europe are vigorously courted by China. And right now Italy has signed a series of agreements with China, bilaterally and without an EU agreement. That especially the southerners are open to Chinese investors, Macron cannot blame them.
"We have a political responsibility for the current situation: if I look at what we did in the 2008 crisis, how we put many countries, especially in the south under pressure and forced into privatization, but no European wanted to invest there". The only ones who have invested they were Chinese. "
"New Silk Road" worries the EU
Above all, the Chinese project of the "New Silk Road" worries the EU, but explicitly publicizes the project in the countries of southern and eastern Europe – with billions of dollars in funds, Beijing wants to bring Asia and Europe together. Macron now wants to collaborate with Angela Merkel and Jean-Claude Juncker to ensure that the new Chinese silk road does not become a one-way street, but will benefit the entire EU – and therefore also France.
For France, yesterday afternoon arrived well. 14 billion of Sino-French agreements have been signed. From nuclear energy to space, the French and the Chinese want to work even closer in the future.
The French president's bilateral business plan has already worked.
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