Xi starts state visit to France

May 6, 2024

Xi starts state visit to France

On May 5, Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived in Paris to begin his visit to France, Serbia and Hungary. In a written speech upon his arrival in Paris, Xi said that over the past 60 years, China-France relations have long been at the forefront of China’s ties with major Western countries, setting a good example for the international community of peaceful coexistence and win-win cooperation between countries with different systems.

Xi’s visit to France comes at the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and France. Analysts from Chinese state media Global Times believe the visit will boost leadership exchanges, strengthen political trust and offer an opportunity for China-Europe relations to move forward in a stable and steady manner.

Regarding the detail of President Xi’s visit, Lu Shaye, Chinese ambassador to France, told a press briefing on April 29 that “President Xi will have comprehensive and in-depth strategic communication with French President Emmanuel Macron on China-France and China-Europe relations, encourage France to uphold strategic autonomy and openness in cooperation, so as to drive Europe to form a more independent, objective, and friendly understanding of China and resist negative trends such as ‘de-risking’ and ‘reduced dependence’ on China.”  


Tourism boomed in the past May Day holiday

From enthusiastic visitors sitting in malatang (spicy soup) restaurants in Tianshui, Northwest China’s Gansu Province, to crowds packing up Shanghai’s dazzling Bund at night, and to the bustling camping sites on the outskirts of Beijing, China experienced a tourism frenzy during the five-day May Day holidays from May 1 to May 5.

According to data from the Ministry of Transport, China saw a total of 1.36 billion passenger trips during the May Day holidays. On top of that, a record high of 280 million passenger trips were made on May 1.

According to China Railway, the country’s railway network is expected to handle 144 million passenger trips during May Day holiday travel rush from April 29 to May 6.

Consumption in China has been firing on all cylinders during the May Day holidays, according to Chinese state media, the momentum in the tourism market underscores the huge potential of the country’s consumption and its consolidated role in boosting the economy throughout the year. It is projected that China’s social retail sales will expand above 5 percent in 2024, buttressing the economy to navigate through rising uncertainties and head toward the GDP target of around 5 percent.


Cuba announces visa exemption for Chinese travelers

On May 5, Cuba minister for tourism Juan Carlos Garcia announced a new policy that allows Chinese passport holders to enter Cuba visa-free, a move aimed at boosting engagement and cooperation between the two countries.

Havana also announced that China would be a guest country during Cuba’s 2025 tourism festival, adding that direct air flights would resume on May 17.

Flights on a Beijing-Madrid-Havana route operated by Air China are set to resume on May 17, currently the only route between China and Cuba.

The visa exemption will ramp up Chinese people’s interest in traveling to Latin America, a region boasting unique cultural and natural landmarks. Following the announcement, China-based online travel platforms reported a 40-percent jump in searches for keywords related to Cuba.

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