Chinese President Xi Jinping and French President Emmanuel Macron signed a series of business and bilateral agreements, including the purchase of 300 Airbus planes. This is another large aircraft order since the order of 300 Boeing planes when US President Donald Trump visited China in 2017. It is an answer to speculations about China-France and China-Europe relations.
Economic cooperation has become the core of international relations in the 21st century. Because China and Europe are not security threats to each other, their economic cooperation level is the best gauge of their relations. China is Airbus’ largest single-country market, and the biggest market for French and most European luxury goods. China also provides the fastest-growing number of tourists and international students to Europe.
China and France support multilateralism besides economic and trade cooperation. The two sides also support the Paris Agreement on climate change. It is safe to say China and France are each other’s development partners. It is also the case between China and Europe.
France and Europe take China seriously, but they are also on guard against China. But those concerns are more about anxiety from facing an uncertain era, not because they are facing real threats from China.
China ordered Airbus planes, and some French and European people are concerned that Airbus will lose its market when China produces its own large passenger aircraft. Chinese people buy French luxury items, and French people worry that Chinese people are getting richer. It’s a good thing that Chinese companies invest in Europe, but Europe worries that Chinese people are buying up their competitiveness.
These concerns are normal. They haven’t hindered the development of China-France and China-Europe relations, which shows a forward-moving trend.
French people should notice they have received China’s respect. The Chinese government never makes irresponsible remarks on France and Europe, although they have problems, nor did China provoke any conflict with them.
China-France and China-Europe trade disputes can be alleviated through consultations. Reciprocal cooperation is the mainstream, and problems are only side effects.