China’s Xi visits Pyrenees mountains, in a personal gesture by France’s Macron

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French President Emmanuel Macron and Chinese President Xi Jinping review the troops on May 7 at the Tarbes airport, southwestern France. (AP)

TOURMALET PASS, France, May 7, (AP): France’s president is hosting China’s leader at a remote mountain pass in the Pyrenees on Tuesday for private meetings after a high-stakes state visit in Paris dominated by trade disputes and Russia’s war in Ukraine.
French President Emmanuel Macron made a point of inviting Chinese President Xi Jinping to the Tourmalet Pass near the Spanish border, where Macron spent time as a child visiting his grandmother. It is meant to be a reciprocal gesture after Xi took Macron last year to the residence of the governor of Guangdong province, where the Chinese president’s father once lived.
Snow coated nearby slopes after new snowfall overnight, and security was tightened around the area. The winding roads up to the pass were blocked by authorities Tuesday for dozens of kilometers (miles).
The mountain meetings come after a grandiose state visit by Xi on Monday that included a ceremonial welcome at the monument housing Napoleon’s tomb and a state dinner at the Elysee Palace with celebrities and magnates.
Xi is on a trip to Europe aimed at reinvigorating relations at a time of global tensions. He heads next to Serbia and Hungary.

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