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In his speech, Macron called on China and France to work together to curb climate change.

Macron, on his first visit to China since being elected a year ago, was due to meet Xi and other Chinese leaders for talks today and Wednesday that his government said also would include issues such as North Korea, the fight against terror financing and climate change.

In China, President Macron went to great lengths to highlight his desire to meld both the interests of Europe and China, presenting China's leader Xi Jinping with a gift of a horse, an eight-year old gelding named Vesuvius.

It is the first state visit by a European leader since China's Communist Party congress in October, which reinforced Xi's grip on power as he was formally handed a second term and his name was enshrined in the party's constitution.

While seeking to boost trade links, Mr Macron is also trying to cut France's €30 billion trade deficit with China and wants to improve access for French firms to the Chinese market. Macron is on a state visit to China from January 8 to January 10 at the invitation of Xi.

China has become a battleground for Airbus and Boeing as the manufacturing titans seek to dominate an aviation market expected to overtake the U.S.to become the world's biggest as early as 2022.

Macron, traveling with a French business delegation, wanted to secure deals that might produce greater access to China's growing market. "Let's open up both instead".

"France should open more, China should open more", he added.

Macron has said that he hopes to reduce France's US$35 billion trade shortfall with China. He and Xi also agreed to pursue a comprehensive and strategic partnership.

Airbus said Tuesday that it would increase production at its A320 final-assembly line in the northeast city of Tianjin and pledged to deepen its industrial cooperation with China.

Securing A380 sales in China has become a priority for Airbus, after the aircraft's main buyer, Dubai's Emirates Airline, failed to close an expected order for 30 new jets late past year.