Now Reading
Chinese foreign minister to visit French counterpart


Chinese foreign minister to visit French counterpart

China Reuters
Photo: Reuters

China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi will today meet with France’s Minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs Jean-Yves Le Drian.

France is the fourth stop on Wang’s eight-day trip to Europe, following Italy, the Netherlands and Norway. This is his first official diplomatic tour since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, intended to strengthen China’s ties with Europe as states face an evolving world order. Washington is pushing for its allies to limit engagement with China, and Wang is expected to urge EU countries to refrain from taking sides.

Having overseen two economic agreements between China and Italy, Wang also intends to facilitate cooperation with Europe vis-à-vis emerging industries and COVID-19 response measures, while Le Drian will want to discuss issues of free market access and fair trade. Contrary to the motive for Beijing’s diplomatic outreach, Wang’s visit has repeatedly provoked criticism of China’s human rights issues, which the European Uyghur Institute and Hong Kong activists in France have called for Le Drian to publicly address.

Expect Wang’s effort to set the agenda on economic and trade cooperation while avoiding a hard stance on human rights. With State Councillor Yang Jiechi slated to visit Europe next week, the back-to-back visits by top diplomats will establish Sino-Europe partnership as a priority within China’s long-term strategic response to US pressure.

See Also

Wake up smarter with an assessment of the stories that will make headlines in the next 24 hours. Download The Daily Brief.

View Comments (0)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Scroll To Top