China and France signaled closer economic cooperation in Beijing on Wednesday, while agreeing to commit to multilateralism and free trade.
Chinese President Xi Jinping and French President Emmanuel Macron agreed to cooperate on trade, finance and aerospace at the Great Hall of the People, Xinhua news agency reported. Both leaders have grappled with U.S. trade tensions since President Donald Trump assumed office.
Xi may have been pleased about the recent issuance of 4 billion euro-denominated sovereign bonds in Paris, the first time China has issued euro bonds since 2004, the report said.
The Chinese leader said the issuance of bonds represents Chinese support of an international finance hub in Paris, and an important step to "deepen financial cooperation between China, France, as well as the European Union."
"We should expand the opening up of the two-way markets. China is willing to expand two-way trade and investment with France, improve trade and investment liberalization, and jointly uphold market rules and the principle of fair competition," Xi said.
Xi also said China will import more French produce and "carry out all-round agricultural cooperation in accordance with market demand."
China has used trade as a means of penalizing countries, however. Beijing banned Canadian pork four months ago, but is reopening its market to Canadian pork and beef owing to ongoing troubles with containing swine fever, the Globe and Mail reported Tuesday.
Macron, who had attended the China International Import Expo in Shanghai, expressed trust in Beijing.
"My frequent exchanges with Xi have deepened friendship and political mutual trust between France and China. It has boosted pragmatic cooperation," Macron said.
This article has been adapted from its original source.
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