French President Macron presents Xi Jinping with a horse named Vesuvius

French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte Macron. – AP

French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte Macron. – AP

Beyond beef, French officials said talks were continuing about China's ban on French poultry, imposed in 2015 after an outbreak of bird flu.

The value of the deal was not immediately disclosed, but at list prices for the single-aisle planes it could total at least $18 billion.

"The EU is now facing new development, and France stands ready to promote EU-China cooperation", Macron said during one of yesterday's meetings.

"This also allows us to better understand one of the themes of the 19th Congress raised by President Xi Jinping", Macron said.

"As a major European country, France can also play a pioneering role in solving some of the lingering issues overshadowing China's co-operation with the continent, notably the market economy status", it said.

After Donald Trump announced last summer that he would pull the U.S. out of the Paris climate deal, French president Emmanuel Macron trolled him in a televised address in English, saying, "Make our planet great again". Macron is on a state visit to China from January 8 to January 10 at the invitation of Xi.

Airbus said Tuesday that it would increase production at its A320 final-assembly line in the northeast city of Tianjin and pledged to deepen its industrial cooperation with China.

"Excellent news for France's beef producers, who consider the potential of the Chinese market a strategic opportunity", the Interbev producers' association said in a statement.

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"It mattered a lot for the president, even if it was very complicated to import a horse for sanitary reasons".

French producers could nonetheless find China a tough market to crack.

"And, they'll need to invest, because the Chinese don't know about French beef", Chaumet added. The aim is to complete that agreement this spring, Le Maire said.

In another breakthrough, China agreed to lift an embargo on French beef within six months.

The two leaders signed deals in the nuclear, aviation and sectors on the second day of the state visit.

Macron began his visit on Monday bent on pursuing deals that would help France reduce its $36 billion (€30 billion) trade deficit with China.

"I think the message is clear, France and the European Union want more reciprocity a more balanced relationship, and also want to take advantage of the Silk Road initiative, but there are a lot of questions which are not going to be resolved by this trip", Cabestan said.

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