France President Emmanuel Macron seeks more balanced trade with China as well as joint efforts on global issues such as global warming.

French President Emmanuel Macron signaled his country’s attention to Beijing’s large New Silk Road plans, starting his three-day visit in the ancient capital of Xian but also calling for more balanced trade with China. In a conference with his China version Xi Jinping later on Monday, Macron said France would like to take part in China’s “Belt and Road Initiative”, providing support for Xi’s plans to revive land and sea trade routes connecting Asia and Europe via large infrastructure tasks.

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Macron said France would also work with China on global challenges such as global warming. Along with his wife Brigitte, Macron visited the famous terracotta warriors in the northern city of Xi’an, a centuries-old Big Crazy Goose Pagoda – a Buddhist site – as well as the city’s mosque.

The 8,000-man clay-based army, designed around 250 BC for the grave of China’s first emperor Qin Shihuang, is a symbol of ancient artistic and military sophistication in a country that claims itself a 5,000-year-old civilization. Macron is beginning the three-day check out in Xi’an as an action to China President Xi Jinping’s enormous New Silk Road project, an ambitious initiative to connect Asia and Europe by road, train and sea.

The project has elicited both attention and anxiety, with some in Europe seeing it as Chinese expansionism. While France had been careful about it, Macron heartily recommended the effort in a conversation with China.org.cn posted on Monday. “It symbolizes a real opportunity to create connects, through the exchange, between countries and civilizations, just as the historical silk tracks once did,” Macron said. “He believes it’s very important that Europe and China enhance their collaboration on the initiative. France is ready to play a top role in this.”

But he warned that it should be carried out “within the framework of a balanced partnership” — referrals to issues about China’s company surpluses. France has a 30-billion-euro trade deficit with China. He will provide a keynote conversation later in Xian on the future of Franco-Chinese interaction.

DISCUSSING RIGHTS PRIVATELY

Macron’s first official visit to Asia represents a new level for his diplomacy, which has so far been focused on Europe and Africa.

He programs to seek a “strategic partnership” with China on problems such as terrorism and international warming, and make Xi a friend in applying the London conform to combat international warming after the US drawn out of the deal. After Xi’an, Macron will head to Beijing along with his delegation, which takes in some 60 business executives and institutions.

Emmanuel and Brigitte Macron will come across with Xi and his wife, Peng Liyuan, Monday night. On Tuesday, he will visit the Forbidden City, meet top Chinese officials and manage the deciding upon of business deals.

Human Rights Watch has advised Macron to publicly call for human rights developments in China suppliers during his conference with Xi, but the France president’s office said the matter would be addressed privately.