France, Germany and the European
Commission have urged Xi Jinping to open up China’s domestic markets to foreign
businesses, with Angela Merkel insisting on “a certain amount of reciprocity”
from Beijing to seal an EU-China investment agreement next year, reported the Financial
French President Emmanuel Macron has tried to forge a united EU front to resist intense commercial competition from China and the US. But his efforts were weakened by the eagerness of Italy and some central and eastern European states to attract Chinese investment.
Macron invited Angela Merkel, the German
chancellor, and Jean-Claude Juncker, head of the European Commission, to join
him in Paris at the end of a bilateral summit with Xi in a drive to underscore
Europe’s openness towards trade and investment has helped raise 700 million Chinese out of poverty, but it also generated “deep transformations and tensions in our society . . . deep tensions which led to the need for legitimate protection,” said Macron.