Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, will visit China from September 13 to 14 for the 25th Joint Committee on Trade and Investment which he will co-chair together with Commerce Minister Zhong Shan, in the presence of Minister of State Delphine Geny-Stephann. He will also meet with Prime Minister Li Keqiang, Vice Premier Hu Chunhua and State Councillor and Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi.
This will be Jean-Yves Le Drian’s third visit to China since the beginning of the year - he was accompanied by President Macron in January and the prime minister in June -, reflecting the priority France gives to its relations with China in order to strengthen collaboration on major international issues, strengthen our trade and develop human exchanges. It will provide an opportunity to discuss ways to facilitate, through concrete measures, access to the Chinese market for our firms, as well as cross investment, notably following the lifting of the embargo on French beef in June. The minister will also discuss the development of industrial cooperation in the priority areas for our two countries, particularly in the nuclear and aerospace sectors.
The major international and regional issues will also be discussed, notably the Iranian issue, the situation in Syria, the preservation of the non-proliferation regime, and the North Korean nuclear and ballistic missile program. Jean-Yves Le Drian will discuss with his interlocutors the reform of the WTO in the run-up to the next G20 summit, the implementation of the Paris Climate Agreement and the negotiations on the adoption of a Global Pact for the Environment ahead of the One Planet Summit on September 26 and COP 24.
China is France’s sixth largest trading partner and our largest client in Asia. France is the second most popular destination outside of Asia for Chinese tourists (2.1 million in 2017). China is now the second largest country of origin of foreign students in France (37,000, including 28,000 taking extended courses) and French students make up the largest contingent of European students in China (10,000).