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Macron's visit to Beijing is meant to strengthen ties between China and France and also to stabilize trade relations between Europe and Beijing, reports the French media.

But the French leader also warned Europeans to stay on guard to protect strategic sectors as China makes inroads through the project, known in Beijing as One Belt One Road, which seeks to build rail, maritime and road links from Asia to Europe and Africa.

France, which runs a US$30 billion euro (US$36 billion) deficit with China, wants to "rebalance" its trade relationship with Beijing and, like other European nations, has demanded reciprocal access to the huge Chinese market.

China, however, placed a large order for 140 Airbus jets during a visit to Germany by Mr Xi last July.

"China will preserve its volume of purchases in the future and will preserve parity in market share between Airbus and Boeing", Macron said.

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"We have an access to markets which is unbalanced, unsatisfying", Macron told members of the French and Chinese business community at a start-up incubator in Beijing.

On Tuesday, Airbus, based in Toulouse, signed a provisional deal to increase the output of A320s at its China assembly plant in Tianjin from four to six planes per month by 2020.

Macron agreed France would like to take an active part in the Belt and Road Initiative, and said France would work with China to address common challenges of the global community such as climate change. But trade tensions are also on the rise between China and the US, home to Airbus rival Boeing. "But at the same time, China needs the worldwide market to cope with the growing pressure (to open up more) and its slowing economy", Zhang said.

China is France's biggest Asian trading partner but the French side reported a 30 billion euro trade deficit previous year.

Macron came to China with some 50 business leaders, including the heads of European aerospace giant Airbus and French state nuclear energy company Areva. New jet orders have historically featured during such tours by French leaders.


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