The Latest: China signs deal to buy 300 Airbus planes

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PARIS (AP) — The Latest on Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to France (all times local):

8:30 p.m.

French President Emmanuel Macron says China’s signature in Paris of a deal to buy 300 planes from Airbus is an “excellent signal” showing the strength and reliability of the relations between the two countries.

In a joint statement with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Elysee presidential palace, Macron said the discussions aimed at seeking a “strong Euro-Chinese partnership, based on clear, strict and ambitious rules.”

He added that France and China share views on the importance of the fight against climate change. Macron also said he raised “concerns” about the respect of fundamental human rights in China during “frank exchanges.”

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Xi praised “friendly and fruitful discussions” with Macron. He said China “attaches great importance” to its relations with Europe.

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7:25 p.m.

China has signed a deal to buy 300 aircraft from European plane maker Airbus during Chinese leader’s Xi Jinping state visit to France.

A statement by the French Presidency says China Aviation Supplies Holding Company ordered 290 Airbus A320 and 10 Airbus A350. Further details and financial sums were not specified.

The global deal is estimated to be worth around $34 billion at list prices, although buyers often secure discounts.

Fifteen business deals on energy, the food industry, transport and other sectors were signed in the presence of Xi and French President Emmanuel Macron on Monday at the presidential palace in Paris, in addition to other bilateral agreements.

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12:30 p.m.

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Chinese President Xi Jinping is on a 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.

Xi will be welcomed Monday by French President Emmanuel Macron at the Arc de Triomphe monument in Paris, before a meeting and a state dinner at the Elysee presidential palace.

The Chinese leader, who previously visited Italy and Monaco, arrived in France on Sunday evening where he had a private dinner with Macron in the resort town of Beaulieu-sur-Mer, on the French Riviera.

He will also meet in Paris on Tuesday with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker.

Europe wants to increase trade with China but on European terms, especially amid U.S.-China trade tensions.

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