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China, France sign $31 billion worth of deals on Xi visit

Published on Mar 27, 2014 4:29 AM
French President Francois Hollande (right) and Chinese President Xi Jinping (left) walk near the conductor of an orchestra before the State dinner held at the Elysee Palace in Paris on March 26, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

PARIS (AFP) - Beijing and Paris signed scores of deals Wednesday worth 18 billion euros (S$31.4 billion) on the second day of a lavish state visit by Chinese leader Xi Jinping, in what President Francois Hollande said would bring much-needed growth.

Mr Xi and his wife Peng Liyuan have been given VIP treatment on a nostalgia-tinted trip to France marking the 50th year of full diplomatic ties between the two countries - a visit due to culminate with a concert at the Versailles chateau on Thursday.

The power couple kicked off their trip in the eastern city of Lyon on Tuesday, and a day later travelled up to Paris where Mr Xi met with his counterpart Mr Hollande and signed the deals.

"Eighteen billion euros of contracts - that is jobs, growth and, most of all, significant prospects for the coming years," Mr Hollande said during a joint press declaration with the Chinese president.

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