China plans to buy 184 Airbus A320 jetliners


On China-Europe ties, Xi said China firmly supports the integration of Europe and welcomes France's greater contribution to China-Europe ties. Such warnings are common among economists and political analysts, but it is unusual for a visiting leader in Beijing to address a potentially divisive issue so directly.

"If we don't deal with this responsibly, the first, natural, reaction will be to close up on both sides", he said.

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

From an evening dress in deep red, a symbol of good luck in China, to a attractive white coat and blue coat dress, French first lady Brigitte Macron looked the epitome of French chic accompanying her husband, French President Emmanuel Macron, on his state visit to Beijing and Xian this week - while also playing some savvy fashion diplomacy. U.S. President Donald Trump celebrated a $37 billion Boeing Co. order following his first visit to Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping in November, only for it to emerge that the bulk of the 300 jets involved were from previously agreed transactions.

Buying A380s to secure an industrial partnership may be attractive to China, which has a strategic aim to become a world aerospace power, but "if it was up to management at Chinese airlines, they wouldn't order more A380s", said Will Horton, senior analyst at the CAPA Center for Aviation, a provider of aviation intelligence.

Despite their public warmth, Macron's visit is overshadowed by mounting trade tensions.

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The United States and European Union are now looking at ways to tighten scrutiny of foreign investments and Macron is an advocate of a tighter screening mechanism in Europe for some sectors. The traditional export fields such as high-speed trains, cars and communication devices have not performed well in the Chinese market.

Britain had promoted itself as a platform for Chinese businesses in Europe but its appeal might be eroded by the reduction in access to the remaining European Union members.

Other EU members including France and Germany are pressing Beijing to give their companies reciprocity, or the same access to its state-dominated economy that Chinese companies enjoy overseas.

"If investors come to France or Europe only to gain access to the best technology without benefiting France or any other European country then they are not welcome", Le Maire told reporters over a lunch with reporters also attended by President Emmanuel Macron.

Now the United States holds the title for the biggest aviation market in the world but China is expected to steal the crown by 2022, leaving Airbus and its rivals battling for business in the Asian nation.