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Xi due in Europe as continent split on political rivalry between Washington and Beijing | Semafor

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Chinese leader Xi Jinping will visit France, Serbia, and Hungary starting May 5, the country’s foreign ministry announced Monday. The tour — Xi’s first to Europe since the COVID-19 pandemic — could deepen divisions between the continent’s leaders over China’s role in Europe’s clean energy transition and the Russia-Ukraine war.

Xi’s visit comes just weeks after German Chancellor Olaf Scholz visited China. While there, he warned Xi about Chinese overcapacity — or excessive trade — of green tech like solar panels and electric vehicles, which some EU leaders believe are undercutting rival European firms.

Xi’s visit also comes as Western leaders worry China could take a more active role in supporting Russia’s war in Ukraine. Observers are keen to see whether Xi will have influence over Europe’s security policy going forward.

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