To cap off his European sojourn, Xi Jinping met with French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker on Tuesday.
The four discussed global governance.
Xi suggested a four-pronged approach to address existing “deficits” (Xinhua):
“Firstly, the Chinese president called for fairness and reasonableness to address the governance deficit.”
“Secondly, Xi called for consultation and understanding to address the trust deficit.”
“Thirdly, he called for joint efforts and mutual assistance to address the peace deficit.”
“Fourthly, Xi called for mutual benefit and win-win results to address the development deficit.”
Get smart: Nobody disagrees with these lofty sentiments. The problem is that many foreign governments do not think that China plays fair on the international stage.
Merkel summed up the sentiment (Reuters):"We, as Europeans, want to play an active part [in the Belt and Road]."
"That must lead to a certain reciprocity, and we are still wrangling over that a bit."
What to watch: Xi could do several things to improve trust – open more sectors to foreign investment, publish a list of domestic subsidies, and/or publish transparent guidelines for BRI investments. Will he do any of those?