Inside Story

Building bridges between China and France

French President Emmanuel Macron is on a three-day visit with trade topping his China agenda.

It is being described as a new stage in French diplomacy – along with potential trade deals being signed.

President Emmanuel Macron is on his first official visit to China and economic issues are the focus of the three-day trip.

Climate change is also a key topic for cooperation between both countries, after President Donald Trump announced the US is pulling out of the Paris climate change accord.

Macron is backing Chinese President Xi Jinping’s new “silk road” project. The One Belt, One Road initiative aims to extend China’s reach across Asia and beyond by using a network of new railways, ports, and other infrastructure.

Macron also wants to strengthen French partnerships with China, particularly in Africa. 

Macron said France has “the experience of unilateral imperialism in Africa” and wants to help China avoid what he called France’s “African mistakes”.

So, what does the French connection with China mean for both Asia and the world?

Presenter: Laura Kyle


Einar Tangen – Economic Affairs Adviser to Chinese government

Barthelemy Courmont – Director of Research, French Institute for International and Strategic Affairs

Graham Ong-Webb – Institute of Defence and Strategic Studies, Nanyang Technological University