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France, China sign multibillion trade deals as Xi Jinping meets Macron

Gonzalo Fuentes / Reuters | French President Emmanuel Macron welcomes Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Elysee Palace in Paris

France signed 15 business contracts with China worth billions of euros on Monday, including a multi-plane order with Airbus and a €1 billion contract for EDF to build an offshore wind farm in China, the French presidency said.

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A 300 plane order from China for Airbus planes is worth about €30 billion euros ($33.94 billion), a French presidency official said.

"We are close to 30 billion euros on the Airbus deal alone," the official said.

France’s Fives and China National Building Materials Group signed a €1 billion deal to cooperate on energy savings in developing countries. CMA-CGM and China State Shipbulding Corporation signed €1.2 billion deal to build 10 containers.

The two sides also agreed to lift an embargo of French poultry exports.

>> New Silk Road: Will Italy be China's Trojan horse?

Macron on Monday called for a "strong Europe-China partnership", which should be based on "strong multilateralism" and "fair and balanced" trade.

In his own statement, Xi said China "needs a united and prosperous Europe".He also called on Europe to adopt "a coherent strategy" in its dealings with his country.

The Chinese president's visit comes after the Chinese leader concluded a visit to Italy, in which the nation became the first G7 state to sign up to Xi's vast "New Silk Road" infrastructure project that has sparked unease in the US and the European Union.

(FRANCE 24 with REUTERS, AP, AFP)

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