China's president meets European leaders on deal-filled trip

China's president meets European leaders on deal-filled trip
French President Emmanuel Macron, right, and Chinese President Xi Jinping share a toast during a state dinner at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, Monday, March 25, 2019. Chinese President Xi Jinping is on a 3-day state visit in France where he is expected to sign a series of bilateral and economic deals on energy, the food industry, transport and other sectors. (Ludovic Marin/Pool Photo via AP)

PARIS (AP) — Chinese President Xi Jinping is meeting with the leaders of France, Germany and the European Commission, as European countries seek to boost relations with China while also putting pressure over its trade practices.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker came to Paris to join Xi and French President Emmanuel Macron for Tuesday’s meeting. The leaders are notably preparing for a crucial EU-China summit.

Tuesday’s meeting is a key moment in Xi’s European tour, which has involved huge business contracts, including one of the biggest deals ever for European plane maker Airbus.

Xi also received the full honors of a formal reception in the French presidential palace Monday night.

The EU is China’s biggest trade partner and wants to solidify that relationship.