France and China link up in global infrastructure projects

Paris and Beijing plan to jointly build seven infrastructure projects worth over $1.7 billion ($1.9 billion) in Africa, Southeast Asia and Eastern Europe, making France the first country to establish the third-party market intergovernmental cooperation mechanism with China. 

Proponents hope that it will make Chinese foreign investments more transparent, while skeptics suggest that it may simply provide an optical boost for Beijing in the face of growing conflict with the United States.

Following the recent virtual meeting between French President Emmanuel Macron and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, the two countries signed the Fourth Round China-France Third-Party Market Cooperation Pilot Project List in mid-February.

The list includes projects in infrastructure, environmental protection and new energy, China's Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Wang Wenbin, said in a statement.

China's senior planning body, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), said in a press release that "French enterprises have a unique advantage in advanced manufacturing, environmental protection and engineering construction, while Chinese firms have accumulated rich experience in basic infrastructure construction, energy, equipment building and the internet. Enterprises from both countries are complementary, and have a huge potential for third-party market cooperation." 




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