French President Emmanuel Macron in China to sign new trade agreements and to talk about the protests in Hong Kong, Xinjiang.
Landing in China on Monday afternoon, Macron will begin its second official trip in Shanghai where he will visit the China International Import Expo, an import trade fair against the backdrop of the trade war between the United States and the Asian giant.
He will dine with Chinese President Xi Jinping before heading to Beijing, where he will be engaged in other commercial negotiations.
Macron will also inaugurate a branch of the Pompidou Center, the museum dedicated to modern art in Paris, at the Shanghai Bund.
French authorities said the French president will address some ‘taboo’ topics, including the protests in Hong Kong and the mass detention of Uighur citizens in Xinjiang province.
Human Rights Watch has asked the French president to publicly address the issue of “political education” camps in Xinjiang and to respect the rights of Hong Kong citizens.
Zhu Jing, an official of the Chinese foreign ministry in Europe, said that China has prepared the “friendliest and warmest welcome” for the French leader.
But Zhu also warned that the two countries should have a constructive dialogue on the subject of human rights, and avoid “criticizing each other” regarding internal issues.
“Hong Kong and Xinjiang are matters of China’s internal affairs. It is not relevant to put them on the diplomatic agenda”.
The Chinese diplomat also warned the French not to play a destructive role in the Indo-Pacific region, or to send warships in the disputed waters.
Hong Kong has entered the 22nd week of protests and has just experienced another weekend of violence, where a man wounded five people, including a pro-democracy politician who had his ear bitten off.
Source: the guardian