French President Emmanuel Macron’s recent trip to China has been seen as a crucial step towards strengthening the strained relationship between the two countries. With an estimated 600,000 to 700,000 French expatriates living in China, the visit highlights the significance of the two nations’ economic, cultural and diplomatic ties.
Last year marked the first time China and France traded goods that exceeded 100 billion Euros ($109.17 billion), with a 14.6% increase year-over-year. As a result of Macron’s visit, China and France signed several agreements to increase agricultural, winery, aerospace, and civil nuclear energy trade.
Macron’s visit does, however, come at a time when the world is looking for an end to the war between Russia and Ukraine. During a recent visit to Russia, China’s President Xi Jinping mapped out a 12-point peace plan that would see both sides gradually de-escalate. Macron’s visit is seen as an opportunity for China to increase its engagement with Russia to end the war further. Ukrainian President Zelenskyy has publicly expressed his desire to have a dialogue with China’s President as a starting point to end the conflict. A conversation between the two leaders is likely to happen, given China’s role as a global mediator, which has yielded success in recent weeks with the government brokering a road map to peace between Saudi Arabia and Iran. As a part of peace talks, both countries have re-established their embassies, which is a positive step towards improving the relationship between the two countries.
China’s increasing role as a global peacemaker, which has long been reserved for the United States, has been a cause for concern for some NATO allies, who fear that China could threaten the balance of power. However, China has repeatedly stressed its commitment to peace and called for a multilateralism world and called for a more equitable international system where all nations have a voice.
Macron’s visit to China marks a major step that could be the precursor toward a real peace dialogue between Russia and Ukraine. It also puts France in the spotlight as a possible mediator between the two European nations. With tensions rising over the war, China and France’s role as mediators could be crucial in bringing about peace.
The view of China mediating a peace deal between Ukraine and Russia has raised some eyebrows, particularly in some news outlets. However, many political leaders across the globe have been vocal and desperately want an end to the war as it has destabilized world markets. War is terrible, and the only outcome is death and destruction. If China or any other country can broker a peace deal, it should be seen as a positive development, regardless of their perceived political ideology.
Unfortunately, the world is filled with violence, and increasingly the message coming from governments and media is often one of intolerance and rhetoric rather than understanding and cooperation. Every government functions differently, and it is essential to understand the system designed for that society. In this regard, Macron’s visit to China provides an opportunity for both countries to exchange views on how to move forward in a way that benefits both nations.
The strained relationship between China and France has been ongoing, with tensions rising over trade, human rights and territorial disputes. However, both countries have a long history of cultural exchange, dating back to the early days of the Silk Road. The visit by President Macron provides an opportunity to revive this cultural exchange and strengthen economic ties.
Macron’s trip furthermore provides an opportunity for France and China to move forward and strengthen their relationship. The world needs more understanding and cooperation, and it is time for governments to put aside their differences and work toward a more peaceful and equitable world.