French President Emmanuel Macron speaks at a France-Chinese forum on the applications of artificial intelligence at SOHO 3Q in Beijing, China January 9, 2018. REUTERS/Jason Lee
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Chinese President Xi Jinping and his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron oversaw the signing Tuesday of business deals worth billions of dollars, seeking better trade ties even as France's finance minister boasted of rejecting those investments he likened to "pillaging".The two sides signed deals in the nuclear, aviation and other key sectors on the second day of Macron's first state visit to China.Macron, who has positioned himself as the leading voice of the European Union, came to Beijing to discuss an ambitious agenda with Xi, the most powerful Chinese leader in decades.The deals included a memorandum of understanding for French energy giant Areva and Chinese counterpart CNNC to build a 10 billion euro ($12 billion) nuclear spent fuel reprocessing plant in China.China also agreed to lift a 16-year-old embargo on French beef within six months, Macron said.French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire, who travelled with Macron, told reporters he has rejected "many" Chinese projects in France.
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