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Trade tops Chinese president Xi Jinping's trip to France

Trade tops Chinese president Xi Jinping's trip to France
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In France, Chinese President Xi Jinping’s state visit moved to Paris on Wednesday and key trade talks with his French counterpart François Hollande.

Among the deals, Dongfeng is set to deepen its ties with Peugeot Citroen. The Chinese carmaker is expected to buy a 14 percent stake as part of a recapitalisation of the struggling French auto firm.

Earlier, Xi and his wife also visited Lyon to promote cultural ties. Famous for its silk-making skills taken from China during the 15th century, the south-eastern city remains a top destination for Chinese students in France.

While foreign direct investment between the two powers remains modest, there are hopes deeper trade ties will help kick start France’s sluggish economy. A fourteen and a half billion euro deal with Airbus for 150 planes is also on the table.

Reporting from Lyon, euronews’ Fabien Farge says: ‘‘In Lyon and the Rhone-Alpes region the visit of Xi Jiping was very much seen as a chance to celebrate France and China’s long-standing industrial, educational and diplomatic ties. In Paris, the emphasis of the Chinese president’s trip turns to trade, notably the signing of big commercial contracts.’‘