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China's President Xi Jinping and his wife Peng Liyuan disembark at Orly Airport, south of Paris, on May 5, 2024.


Xi goes on (short) European tour

This week marks President Xi Jinping’s first trip to Europe in five years. The Chinese leader will only visit France, Serbia, and Hungary – three countries where he’s likely to find the friendliest ears – and meet with EU Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen to discuss trade tensions and China’s support for Russia in its war with Ukraine.

Xi, who landed in Paris on Sunday, will also have a tete-a-tete with Emanuel Macron for the second time in as many years. You’ll remember that the French president raised continental eyebrows last year with a state visit to Beijing, where he declared that Europe should not be drawn into a standoff between China and the US over Taiwan. Macron’s independent foreign policy approach left a positive impression on Beijing.

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