Emmanuel Macron’s decisive win in the FRENCH ELECTION on Sunday should improve China’s relationship with France, the China Daily said in an editorial. “His triumph strengthens France’s place as one of the central pillars of the European Union and bodes well for what it stands for: open trade, the free flow of people and cooperation,” the English-language paper said. “Macron’s victory, therefore, was also a victory for reason over extremism.” While the paper acknowledged the challenges Macron faces, the editorial argued his support for globalization could boost trade between the two nations, with France providing China an “important ally” against climate change and terrorism. THE CONTEXT: China is the world’s largest trading nation and President Xi Jinping has sought to cast himself as a leading defender of globalization.
- BELT AND ROAD: State media are in overdrive previewing Xi’s Belt and Road Initiative, with 28 world leaders expected to gather Sunday for a two-day summit in Beijing. China Daily published a two-minute video late Monday on its YouTube channel featuring an American journalist telling his 5-year-old daughter a bedtime story — about Xi’s global infrastructure ambitions. “Once upon a time, several routes led from China to Central Asia to Europe,” he said. “It was called the Silk Road. People would put things on camels and cross the desert to trade with other people.” Lullaby music plays as he explains how Xi plans to remake old routes with new railways, airports and pipelines so “more stuff can move around the world more easily.” YouTube is blocked in China.
- SHANGHAI FTZ: Shanghai will shorten the list of sectors excluded from foreign investment in its free-trade zone, the People’s Daily reported, citing local Communist Party chief Han Zheng. The eastern financial hub will work to broaden market access, expand support policies, create a more equal business environment and improve government services for foreign investors, Han told a local party meeting.
- TOURISM: Chinese 370 million drivers are increasingly cruising U.S. highways as the they become more adventurous about exploring foreign landscapes by car, the China Daily reported. Western destinations, including Las Vegas, Los Angeles and San Francisco, are particularly popular starting points, the paper said, citing a report from online travel agency Tuniu Corp. The U.S. is followed by New Zealand, Germany, Thailand and the U.K.
— With assistance by Brendan Scott