Opening statement by President von der Leyen ahead of the trilateral meeting with French President Macron and President of the People’s Republic of China Xi Jinping

Merci beaucoup Président Macron, dear Emmanuel, thank you for convening us again here in Elysée and many thanks for inviting me to a part of this state visit.

Dear President Xi – I am pleased to see you again. I visited your great country twice last year and I remember very well our lunch in the Four Seasons Hall during our most recent meeting last December. The European Union and China want good relations. Given the global weight of China, our engagement is key to ensure mutual respect, avoid misunderstanding and find joint solutions to global challenges. This is especially important as we celebrate the 50th anniversary of EU-China relations next year. So we have an interest to show that our engagement delivers. China is important for the European Union to tackle the major global challenges. For example, our joint fight against climate change and our determination to protect biodiversity and implement ocean governance. Here I want to commend you on the outcome of Kunming. In addition, both China and the European Union have a shared interest in peace and security and in the effective functioning of the rules-based international order. Especially against a backdrop of a very turbulent environment, be it in Europe, in the Middle East or in East Asia. We are determined to stop the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine and establish a just and lasting peace. And finally, we have a substantial EU-China economic relationship. Our daily trade volume is around EUR 2.3 billion a day. But this relationship is also challenged, for example through state-induced overcapacity, unequal market access and overdependencies. These are all issues that we will address today. In December, I remember that you told us, President Xi: ‘EU-China relations are essential to global peace, security and prosperity’. This remains true today. That is why it is so important that we speak here today on how to cooperate where our interests align as well as how to address responsibly the issues on which we have concerns.

Thank you.