Hollande Ends Visit With Call for China to Open Markets

French President Francois Hollande, speaking after a meeting in Beijing with Chinese President Xi Jinping, called on China to ease market access to narrow its trade surplus with France.

While France needs to improve its competitiveness, Hollande said he wanted more partnerships between the two countries beyond ones that have been signed in nuclear power and civil aviation. The plane deal involved 60 Airbus jets, which will be mainly built in China.

“I brought up the question frankly with the Chinese president, who is also aware that it’s not sustainable,” Hollande told reporters yesterday. “This means that we need to be engaged, that our competitiveness improves and that Europe returns to growth. But it also means more opening of the Chinese market, trade on more than just nuclear plants and aircraft.”

France runs a 26 billion-euro ($34 billion) trade deficit with China, according to French officials. Its trade deficit in 2012 totaled 67 billion euros.

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