It’s not your average business trip – French President François Hollande is in China on a two-day visit aimed at boosting exports. His focus: energy and aerospace.
His efforts have already been rewarded with an agreement to buy 60 Airbus planes by China. That may silence some critics at home, where his approval rating has hit an all-time low.
Hollande is the first Western leader to be received by the new Chinese President Xi Jinping. Analysts say the invitation is a signal to London. British prime minister David Cameron has been snubbed by Beijing since he met with the spiritual leader of Tibet, the Dalai Lama, last year. Previous French President Nicolas Sarkozy also felt the diplomatic freeze over a similar meeting.
With only a 1.3 percent share of Chinese foreign trade, France may just stick to talking shop.