Macron endorses China’s Silk Road but warns against ‘hegemony’

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XI’AN (Reuters): French President Macron embraced China’s massive “Belt and Road” development project but said that trade must be a two-way street. He said Europe and China needed each other in the future, so they had to work together.

Mr Macron made his comments as he began a three-day visit to China in the city of Xian, the gateway to China’s historic Silk Road, before heading to Beijing and a meeting with Xi Jinping.

The Chinese president’s signature foreign policy project – the Belt and Road Initiative – is seen as a modern day revival of the ancient Silk Road trading route.

Macron, on the first day of a state visit, also called on Europe and China to team up on curbing climate change in the face of the US decision to withdraw from the Paris accord.

“Our destinies are linked,” he said in a keynote speech on the future of Sino-French relations during a visit to the northern city of Xian, the starting point of the ancient Silk Road.

“I think it is very important that Europe and China strengthen their collaboration on the initiative. France is ready to take a leading role,” added Mr Macron, who is joined by 60 French business executives on his trip.

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