‘China can’t be outside, China must be inside’: France says it differs from Washington on ties with Beijing

‘China can’t be outside, China must be inside’: France says it differs from Washington on ties with Beijing

French Economy and Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire addressed a CNBC panel in Davos.

Ludovic Marin | AFP | Getty Images

DAVOS, Switzerland — The European Union disagrees with the United States on taking a stand against China, France’s finance minister told CNBC on Friday.

Speaking at a panel at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Frenchman Bruno Le Maire said of the economic outlook: “China cannot be out, China must be in. That’s the difference in opinion that we have between the US and Europe.”

“We don’t want to oppose China, we want to work with China, we want China to follow the same rules,” he said, “that’s our policy.”

The United States has taken a confrontational approach to China, particularly in the technology sector. However, the European Union has tried to strike a balance between its political friendship with the US and its economic ties with China.

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Although European officials have said China is a strategic rival, they also acknowledge they want to build trade ties with Beijing and work together on climate change.

French President Emmanuel Macron is reportedly planning a trip to China in the coming weeks to discuss energy and trade, as well as the broader fallout from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Data from European Statistics Office showed that China was the third largest partner for EU goods exports and the largest partner for imports in 2021.

France's Finance Minister: We have entered a