Impacts and Consequences

  • Increased likelihood to see a return to a more influential and independent foreign policy of the European states holders of veto power at UN Security Council (France and UK);
  • Increased likelihood to see a multipolar world settling in, however with also an
  • Increased likelihood to see a global perception of a rising Chinese global influence;
  • Increased likelihood to see the Chinese influence strengthening in France and Europe, and, reciprocally, France and Europe’s influence rising in the Far East;
  • Increased likelihood to see a global perception of the global U.S. influence and power lowered;
  • Increased likelihood to see rising tensions between the U.S. and China.

Facts and analysis

From 8 to 10 January, French President Emmanuel Macron has been on a State visit in China at Chinese President Xi Jinping invitation.

There, the two Presidents agreed to deepen and strengthen bilateral ties and cooperation notably in the framework of the Belt and Road initiative, including in a host of domains of interest to both China and France, such as science and technology, artificial intelligence, aviation, nuclear energy and agriculture.  Meanwhile, they also each reiterated common interests and goals at global level, such as facing climate change, global terrorism, cyber insecurity  or promoting global peace and stability and global economic governance.

China and France can build upon the historical ties existing between the two countries, notably since French President General de Gaulle recognition of the PRC and opening of diplomatic relations in 1964. The French tradition of an independent foreign policy could also be reasserted and be an asset.

The influence of the two countries could, as a result, be strengthened, while the interests of each could be furthered. Among others, for example, if China finds a way to benefit from high-tech transfers from France, yet without endangering this very French sector, China could further stress its image of a benevolent state and show again the validity of the B&R initiative and of its win-win ideal.

Internationally, notably at the U.N. Security Council level, and considering also the British Chancellor of the Exchequer visit to China in mid-December, it seems likely that we are heading towards a more balanced international order, yet one that may also be perceived by the U.S. as threatening.

Impact on Issues and Uncertainties

➚ Return to a French independent foreign policy
➚ France, and Europe influence and power in Asia
➚ France influence and power

➚ Chinese influence and power in Europe
➚ Global Chinese influence and power

 U.S. influence and power in Europe
  Global U.S. influence and power

➚ Rising tension between the U.S. and China

Sources and Signals

China, France agree to inject new impetus into ties – Global Times

China and France Tuesday agreed to further advance their comprehensive strategic partnership.

Britain eyes closer Belt and Road cooperation with China

BEIJING/LONDON (Reuters) – Britain wants closer cooperation with China over its landmark Belt and Road infrastructure scheme, finance minister Philip Hammond said on Friday at the start of a Beijing trip on which he hopes to seal a billion pounds in deals.

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