Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire says it would be impossible to cut off the country from the Chinese market
Paris wants better access to the Chinese market and improved trade relations, French Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire said on Sunday, while dismissing calls to “decouple” from Beijing due to security concerns.
“We are totally opposed to the idea of decoupling. Decoupling is an illusion,” Le Maire told reporters following negotiations with Vice Premier He Lifeng in the Chinese capital.
“There is no possibility of having any kind of decoupling between the American, European and Chinese economies,” the French minister said. He added that Paris would not like to “face some legislative hurdles or some other barriers” on the path to China’s large market.
Vice Premier He expressed hope that France would “stabilize the tone of friendly cooperation between China and the EU.”
US and EU officials have repeatedly accused Beijing of economic coercion and escalatory moves in the Indo-Pacific. The Chinese government has said that Washington and its allies have weaponized trade regulations in order to advance anti-Chinese policies.
Western officials, however, have recently shifted from the ‘decoupling’ rhetoric to ‘de-risking and diversifying’, with the goal of lowering economic dependency on China. This approach was reflected in a joint communique adopted by the G7 during its summit in Japan in May, which accused Beijing of trying to “distort the global economy.”
Beijing rejected the allegations, saying the West is stuck in a ‘Cold-War mentality’ and is slandering China on the world stage.