China and France Set to Strengthen Economic Ties and Climate Cooperation
On November 20, Chinese President Xi Jinping had a phone call with French President Emmanuel Macron. President Xi praised France’s active participation in the Belt and Road Initiative summit and the China International Import Expo, seeking to strengthen economic ties between the two countries. It’s worth noting that during the phone call, President Xi expressed the expectation that France would provide a fair and non-discriminatory business environment for Chinese enterprises investing in France. Months prior, the EU Commission launched an anti-subsidy investigation against Chinese electric vehicle companies, which could potentially face high tariffs when entering the European market. Paris was considered a key player in pushing the EU authority to initiate the probe.
As electric vehicles become symbolic of both environmental issues and a potential China-EU trade conflict, the heads of state emphasized efforts to mitigate the situation during their conversation. Both sides stressed their track record of cooperation in responding to climate change and agreed to continue their joint efforts in the upcoming UN Climate Change Conference in Dubai. Additionally, according to multiple media outlets, French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna is set to visit China this week, shortly after the phone call between the two presidents.
Tesla is Set to Increase Prices in the Chinese Market, Citing Increase in Cost and High Demand
On November 20, according to salespersons of Tesla China, the prices of the Model 3 and Model Y are set to increase this week due to rising costs. According to the salesperson, this price increase is expected to be consecutive and will apply to all models in the Tesla lineup
The salesperson also revealed that due to strong sales, there is significant pressure on the production line, resulting in higher production costs. As a result, the prices of the relevant Tesla models are expected to continue to rise this week
Currently, a Tesla Model 3 costs 261,400 CNY (~37300 USD) in China, while a Model 3 in the US costs about 28,490 USD. Telsa sold more than 25,000 vehicles in October. In comparison, BYD, China’s largest EV manufacturer, sold more than 246,000 vehicles in October.
China Protests as US Sells Tomahawk Missiles to Japan
On November 20, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning expressed deep concern about the US decision to sell up to 400 long-range Tomahawk missiles to Japan during a press briefing. The arms trade was authorized by the US State Department on November 17, with a total transaction value of approximately US$2.35 billion. Although the US did not mention China directly, they claimed that the arms sale would “improve Japan’s capacity to meet current and future threats.” Initially, the delivery of the missiles was scheduled to begin in 2026, but the US and Japan agreed to accelerate the timeline by one year by replacing a portion of the missiles with older types.
On the same day that the US authorized the deal, Chinese President Xi and US President Biden agreed to reopen military-to-military contact during their meeting in San Francisco. Consequently, the arms trade is seen as the US taking military advantage while pretending to have a détente with China. Chinese spokesperson Mao Ning criticized the US’s attempt to arm Japan, a country restrained by its Peace Constitution. The Tomahawk deal will further intensify an arms race that undermines regional peace and security. Mao also pointed out that Japan’s history of waging World War II has made its militarization a concern for neighboring countries. Mao concluded by stating that the US and Japan should respect the security concerns of Asian countries.