January 31, 2023

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France says it disagrees with Washington over relations with Beijing

French Minister of Economy and Finance Bruno Le Maire spoke to CNBC in Davos.

Ludovic Marin | Afp | Getty Images

DAVOS, Switzerland — France’s finance minister told CNBC on Friday that the European Union does not engage with the United States when it comes to opposing China.

France’s Bruno Le Maire, speaking before a panel at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, to look at the economic outlook, said: “China can’t be out, it has to be China. This is the difference in views between the United States and Europe.”

“We don’t want to oppose China, we want to deal with China, we want China to abide by the same rules. This is our policy,” he said.

The United States has taken a confrontational approach with China, especially when it comes to the technology sector. However, the European Union has considered striking a balance between its political friendship with the United States and its economic relations with China.

Although European officials have said that China is a strategic competitor, they also recognize that they want to develop trade relations with Beijing and work together against climate change.

French President Emmanuel Macron is said to be planning a trip to China in the coming weeks to discuss energy and trade, as well as the broader consequences of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Data from the European Statistical Office showed that China was the EU’s third-largest partner for merchandise exports in 2021, and the largest partner for imports.

French Finance Minister: We entered
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