French president says China will buy 184 Airbus jets

French president says China will buy 184 Airbus jets

"President Xi confirmed to me that China will maintain the volume of orders in the coming years and preserve parity with the market shares of Airbus and [US rival] Boeing", Macron said at a news conference.

France's "First Lady" Brigitte Macron has sparked a sexism row by refusing to walk behind her husband, the president, during state visits.

Airbus signed a provisional deal on Tuesday to boost the number of A320 family jets assembled in Tianjin to six a month by 2020 from four at present.

"Macron is pushing for foreign investment in strategic sectors in the region to be screened at the European Union level, but many poorer European Union member states who rely on Chinese investment have sought to water it down".

On Wednesday, Macron said a contract with China for 184 Airbus A320s would be finalized soon, Reuters reported.

The project's commercial agreement was signed by French nuclear and renewable energy group New AREVA and its Chinese partner during the meeting.

Macron said details have yet to be completed and gave no financial figures.

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Ninety percent of China's beef imports come now from Brazil, Uruguay, Australia and New Zealand.

The French stance underscores a growing unease in parts of the EU at the one-sided nature of Chinese trade and the potential for China and other countries to pick off strategic European technologies.

Foreign businesses in China though have grown more pessimistic about Beijing's market restrictions even though government officials have repeatedly pledged to increase access. New jet orders have historically featured during such tours by French leaders.

"It's a question of sovereignty", Macron added.

Chinese online retail giant JD.com agreed to sell 2 billion euros worth of French products - such as Remy Martin cognac or Evian water - on its website over the next two years.

Beijing has praised Macron's decision to choose China for his first state visit to an Asian nation.

Earlier, Macron and his wife were accompanied by students from the French worldwide school and a French historian as they strolled through the red-walled palaces of former Chinese emperors at the Forbidden City.

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