Forum. The president and Emmanuel Macron, has chosen. It is in China that it will, as early as 8 January, in his first trip to Asia. For many, who plead for a strengthening of ties between Paris and Beijing, it is an obvious choice, if not indisputable. China is the second economic power in the world, its impressive projects of the “silk road” seem to be able to offer limitless possibilities.
And, of course, for a France that has the ambition to play a global role on the international stage, China appears as a partner in its measurement, as a nuclear power and permanent member of the security Council with a veto right which weighs on the business of the world. For a president who wants to assert themselves as the antithesis, if not the equal of Trump, China offers a scene to the extent of this ambition.
Beijing knows all this and is in need of allies in the face of american power that, contrary to the original expectations of its leaders, has not given up its commitment in Asia. Everyone is not aware in Paris of the divisions and tensions that grow in the region, around the future role of China, well beyond the Korean crisis, and china’s leaders may hope to receive flattering will win the support of a president until then rather oriented towards Europe and its immediate environment.
France, an ally against the United States
China would like to convince the French president to position an intermediate ” neutral “, in favour of dialogue and against all the strategies of confrontation, and recognizing implicitly by its choice of the pre-eminence of Beijing in the region.
For Beijing, France is never better than when it restricts itself to its role of ” old friend of China ”
Yet, all may not be as simple in this official trip. If the points in common and opportunities exist, the mutual expectations are far from coincide…