Macron hosts Xi in French Pyrenees to talk Ukraine and ongoing conflict in Gaza

French President Emmanuel Macron hosted Chinese leader Xi Jinping at one of his childhood haunts in the Pyrenees mountains as he put pressure on Beijing not to support Russia's war against Ukraine and to accept fairer trade arrangements.

Early Tuesday afternoon Xi, his wife Peng Peiyun, and the Chinese delegation arrived in their extended Boeing 747 in a rainy Tarbes in the French Pyrenées, and then headed to the village of Bagnere-de-Bigorre to have lunch with Macron and his wife Brigitte.

While born and brought up in Amiens in the north of France, the young "Manu" spent numerous winter and summer holidays with his late maternal grandparents in the area just below the Col du Tourmalet, over 2,000 metres above sea level and a legendary climb in the Tour de France.

The Pyrenees meeting, on the second day of Xi's state visit to France – his first to Europe since 2019 – is meant to strengthen ties on a personal level, and, for Macron, to try and get Xi on his side on Ukraine.

The first day, in Paris, saw respectful but sometimes robust exchanges between the two men during a succession of talks.

Macron, joined initially by EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, urged Xi not to allow the export of any technology that could be used by Russia in its invasion of Ukraine and to do all it could to end the war.

Xi for his part warned the West not to "smear" China over the conflict and also hit back at accusations that Chinese overcapacity was causing global trade imbalances.

It also outlined their joint opposition “an Israeli offensive on Rafah” and publicaly voiced support for the establishment of a Palestinian state “on the basis of the lines of 1967".

'Count on China'

(With newswires)

Read more on RFI English

Read also:
France urges coordination with China on Ukraine, trade at Paris summit
China's Xi Jinping visits France to work through global crises
Frenchman tells plight of husband's 'state secret' jailing