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French Prime Minister in central China to promote 'Made in France'

French Prime Minister Bernard Cazeneuve meets with CCP leaders in the Chinese city of Wuhan on 23 February 2017.
French Prime Minister Bernard Cazeneuve meets with CCP leaders in the Chinese city of Wuhan on 23 February 2017. Johannes Eisele / AFP

French Prime Minister Bernard Cazeneuve is in Wuhan, China this Thursday, in part to promote French business. The visit marks the end of Cazeneuve's first overseas trip in his role as French prime minster. 

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In the city of Wuhan in the centre of the country, Cazeneuve saw the arrival of a goods train from Lyon in France. The line was opened in April as part of China's project to build modern transport links to Europe, echoing the historical Silk roads trading routes.

Cazeneuve watched as crates of French wine and champagne were unloaded from the train, destined for the Chinese market.

The French prime minister used his visit to try to encourage more French companies to use the new transport links. On Thursday, he also visited a high-security laboratory backed by France's Institut Pasteur.

Overall, the objective of Cazeneuve's trip has been to encourage the propagation of French and Europeans goods in China. As it stands currently Chinese authorities impose far greater duties on French and European goods than the French do on Chinese goods.

This, however, could change. Analysts say the election of Donald Trump as US president could lead to protectionism in that country, to the benefit of increased trade among others.

Thursday's visit to Wuhan is the final stop of Cazeneuve's three-day visit, which commenced in Beijing.

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