China's Xi in France for First European Trip in 5 Years

China's Xi in France for First European Trip in 5 Years
Image copyright: Kiran Ridley/Stringer/Getty Images News via Getty Images

The Facts

  • Chinese Pres. Xi Jinping has kicked off his first European tour in five years by meeting with French Pres. Emmanuel Macron and European Commission Pres. Ursula von der Leyen on Monday.

  • During talks, the two European leaders urged China to use its influence on Russia to bring the war in Ukraine to an end. Chinese state media reported that Xi stressed that his country "has been working vigorously" to facilitate peace.

The Spin

Narrative A

Despite the niceties and pomp surrounding the state visit, an enormous trade war is brewing behind the scenes. We can expect Macron to be tough on Xi — tightening the screws on him for China's support to Russia, as well as its damaging trade practices that are hurting the EU economy.

Narrative B

While there are major disagreements between France and China, if anyone is expecting frosty exchanges or a political bust-up, they are mistaken. China is a master of carefully crafted diplomacy and will seek to use this to serve its interests. Meanwhile, Macron can be expected to lay on the charm offensive for the world's second-biggest economy.

Metaculus Prediction

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