Xi Jinping Kicks Of First European Tour In Years As Global Tensions Rise

PARIS (AP) — Chinese President Xi Jinping kicked off a three-country trip to Europe on Sunday with the continent divided over how to deal with Beijing’s growing power and the U.S.-China rivalry.European carmakers are losing ground to subsidized Chinese electric vehicles. Diplomats fret about alleged Chinese spies in European capitals. And China’s continued defense trade

Powered by NewsAPI , in Liberal Perspective on .

news image

PARIS (AP) — Chinese President Xi Jinping kicked off a three-country trip to Europe on Sunday with the continent divided over how to deal with Beijing’s growing power and the U.S.-China rivalry.

European carmakers are losing ground to subsidized Chinese electric vehicles. Diplomats fret about alleged Chinese spies in European capitals. And China’s continued defense trade with Russia worries anyone in Europe who supports war-ravaged Ukraine and fears that the Russian army won’t stop there.

But Europe and China have hefty economic ties — EU-China trade is estimated at 2.3 billion euros per day — and Xi appears determined to rebuild and deepen relations with European leaders after a prolonged absence prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Xi started Sunday in France, whose president wants Europe to have more economic and strategic independence from other world powers. Then the Chinese president heads to Serbia and Hungary, both seen as China-friendly and close to Russian President Vladimir Putin, and recipients of substantial Chinese investment.

China's President Xi Jinping and his wife, Peng Liyuan, walk under umbrellas with Franch Prime Minister Gabriel Attal upon their arrival for an official two-day state visit. (Photo by STEPHANE DE SAKUTIN/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
China’s President Xi Jinping and his wife, Peng Liyuan, walk under umbrellas with Franch Prime Minister Gabriel Attal upon their arrival for an official two-day state visit. (Photo by STEPHANE DE SAKUTIN/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

STEPHANE DE SAKUTIN via Getty Images

Xi’s trip will be closely watched in Washington for signs of diminishing European support for its key foreign policy goals. At the same time, there’s increasing uncertainty in Europe about future U.S. support for trans-Atlantic allies.

Xi was greeted at Paris’ Orly Airport by French Prime Minister Gabriel Attal — and by protests by groups demanding that France pressure China to respect Tibetan and Uyghur minority rights. Activists seeking a free Tibet attempted to unfurl a banner Saturday beneath the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, and protested in the French capital around the same time as Xi’s plane landed.

After arriving, Xi said he hoped the visit would bring ’’strategic convergence″ between China and France, and that further developing their relations would contribute to ’’stability and positive energy in an turbulent world,″ according to a text provided to reporters at the airport.

On Monday French President Emmanuel Macron will treat the Chinese leader to formal honors of a full state visit. They will also meet with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, who is expected to join Macron in pushing for fairer trade policies and for China to use its leverage with Russia to push it toward ending the war in Ukraine.

The EU launched an investigation last fall into Chinese subsidies and could impose tariffs on electric vehicles exported from China.

China claims neutrality in the Ukraine conflict but has refused to call the full-blown Russian assault on its neighbor an invasion, and has been accused of bolstering Russia’s capacity to produce weapons.

Our 2024 Coverage Needs You

It’s Another Trump-Biden Showdown — And We Need Your Help

The Future Of Democracy Is At Stake

Our 2024 Coverage Needs You

Your Loyalty Means The World To Us

As Americans head to the polls in 2024, the very future of our country is at stake. At HuffPost, we believe that a free press is critical to creating well-informed voters. That’s why our journalism is free for everyone, even though other newsrooms retreat behind expensive paywalls.

Our journalists will continue to cover the twists and turns during this historic presidential election. With your help, we’ll bring you hard-hitting investigations, well-researched analysis and timely takes you can’t find elsewhere. Reporting in this current political climate is a responsibility we do not take lightly, and we thank you for your support.

Contribute as little as $2 to keep our news free for all.

Can’t afford to donate? Support HuffPost by creating a free account and log in while you read.

The 2024 election is heating up, and women’s rights, health care, voting rights, and the very future of democracy are all at stake. Donald Trump will face Joe Biden in the most consequential vote of our time. And HuffPost will be there, covering every twist and turn. America’s future hangs in the balance. Would you consider contributing to support our journalism and keep it free for all during this critical season?

HuffPost believes news should be accessible to everyone, regardless of their ability to pay for it. We rely on readers like you to help fund our work. Any contribution you can make — even as little as $2 — goes directly toward supporting the impactful journalism that we will continue to produce this year. Thank you for being part of our story.

Can’t afford to donate? Support HuffPost by creating a free account and log in while you read.

It’s official: Donald Trump will face Joe Biden this fall in the presidential election. As we face the most consequential presidential election of our time, HuffPost is committed to bringing you up-to-date, accurate news about the 2024 race. While other outlets have retreated behind paywalls, you can trust our news will stay free.

But we can’t do it without your help. Reader funding is one of the key ways we support our newsroom. Would you consider making a donation to help fund our news during this critical time? Your contributions are vital to supporting a free press.

Contribute as little as $2 to keep our journalism free and accessible to all.

Can’t afford to donate? Support HuffPost by creating a free account and log in while you read.

As Americans head to the polls in 2024, the very future of our country is at stake. At HuffPost, we believe that a free press is critical to creating well-informed voters. That’s why our journalism is free for everyone, even though other newsrooms retreat behind expensive paywalls.

Our journalists will continue to cover the twists and turns during this historic presidential election. With your help, we’ll bring you hard-hitting investigations, well-researched analysis and timely takes you can’t find elsewhere. Reporting in this current political climate is a responsibility we do not take lightly, and we thank you for your support.

Contribute as little as $2 to keep our news free for all.

Can’t afford to donate? Support HuffPost by creating a free account and log in while you read.

Dear HuffPost Reader

Thank you for your past contribution to HuffPost. We are sincerely grateful for readers like you who help us ensure that we can keep our journalism free for everyone.

The stakes are high this year, and our 2024 coverage could use continued support. Would you consider becoming a regular HuffPost contributor?

Dear HuffPost Reader

Thank you for your past contribution to HuffPost. We are sincerely grateful for readers like you who help us ensure that we can keep our journalism free for everyone.

The stakes are high this year, and our 2024 coverage could use continued support. If circumstances have changed since you last contributed, we hope you’ll consider contributing to HuffPost once more.

Support HuffPost

Already contributed? Log in to hide these messages.

Read More