Xi meets Macron and VDL; Reactions to Tsai's transit; More inspection fun coming for SOEs; Covid origins
Summary of today’s top items:
Xi meets Macron - Xi did not make any public shifts in the PRC’s position on the Ukraine War, so it looks like Macron’s charm was not effective. Among the key themes in his meeting with Macron and with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen were autonomy for Europe, supply chain security, no decoupling, a multi-polar world and a “China-Europe relationship that is not targeted at, subjugated to, or controlled by any third party”. It is hard to see how these visits are going to improve EU-PRC relations, but Airbus did sell some more planes and France and the PRC signed several cooperation agreements. According to Politico a verbose Macron may have annoyed Xi at their joint press conference - “Xi himself at times looked impatient and annoyed as Macron continued speaking. The Chinese leader heaved several deep sighs and appeared uncomfortable as Macron addressed him directly “.
Xi and VDL - Xi looked decidedly less pleased to see European Commissio…