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EU’s von der Leyen to join Macron in China tour – POLITICO

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen will accompany French President Emmanuel Macron on his trip to China early next month.

Speaking at a press conference following a summit of European leaders in Brussels, Macron said he had “suggested that von der Leyen accompany him to China” on April 4 so that they can speak “with a unified voice”.

“I do not have a European mandate, because France has its independent diplomacy, but I am attached to European coordination,” he added.

Macron said von der Leyen, who heads the EU executive, would join him – as did then-Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker when the French president and former German chancellor Angela Merkel hosted Chinese President Xi Jinping in Paris in 2019.

A Commission spokesperson confirmed that von der Leyen would be with Macron on his trip – marking the EU chief’s first trip to Beijing as Commission President.

Ahead of his trip to China, von der Leyen will deliver a speech on EU-China relations next Thursday in Brussels. The trip will follow a visit to Beijing by European Council President Charles Michel in November.

The French president also noted that he had discussed the meeting with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Friday, saying the two shared “a common vision”. This vision: “Engage with China in order to put pressure on Russia.

“[We need] do everything to stop the conflict, respecting international law, including territorial sovereignty,” he said.

This week, the Chinese leader visited Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow – a move that worried European leaders at the summit. Besides Macron’s upcoming trip, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez said at the summit that he would also visit China soon.

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