Chinese foreign minister calls for talks on free trade deal with EU
Sefan de Vries

On his second visit to France this year, Chinese minister of foreign affairs Wang Yi has met counterpart, Jean-Yves Le Drian as well as president Emmanuel Macron.

Wang Yi during his visit to France. Photo: Geoffroy Van Der Hasselt/ AFP

Wang Yi during his visit to France. Photo: Geoffroy Van Der Hasselt/ AFP

The French minister of foreign affairs took Wang Yi to visit the regions of Normandy and Brittany, and the world-famous Mont Saint Michel, on France's west coast.

The coastal visit between the two men served as a preparation for a busy schedule on Monday. The day started with a working meeting at the Quai d'Orsay, the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, followed by the opening of the new consular services of the Chinese Embassy in the French capital. In the afternoon, Wang Yi chaired the fifth high-level dialogue on people-to-people exchanges.

That's a programme to improve the relations between France and China in the fields of science, technology, education and tourism.

His Paris visit ended with a bilateral meeting with the French President Emmanuel Macron. The meeting comes at a moment where trade wars risk creating a global recession now the US has slapped more tariffs on the EU.

On Monday, Wang Yi told press agency AFP that he was confident that there would be a bilateral investment agreement between China and the EU. He also urged the Europeans to launch talks on a free-trade agreement with China. Wang said that China and France will sign "a big number" of contracts, "between 30 and 40", during President Emmanuel Macron's visit to China next month.

The Chinese state councillor will continue his European trip by travelling to Switzerland, where he is meeting the Swiss president on Tuesday.