China Begins Lobbying And Backchannel Negotiations To Secure Access To French Civilian Nuclear TechChinese President Xi Jinping (representative image) (Wikimedia Commons)

China has begun intensive lobbying and backchannel negotiations to obtain crucial civilian nuclear energy technology worth billions of dollars from France, reports Economic Times.

To achieve the same, China has begun to engage in political diplomacy to secure a visit by President Emmanuel Macron to China and clinch the deal.

In 2018, a preliminary deal had been signed between the French Government-owned nuclear energy giant Orano and China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC). However, the deal expired at the end of 2018 and the engagement got stalled over security concerns.

China is now looking to rekindle the EUR 10-billion deal between Orano and CNNC, which would involve the building of a "reprocessing and recycling" facility in China by the two institutions.

It should be noted that CNNC is a Chinese state-owned body which oversees not only the nation's civilian nuclear programs but also its military nuclear programs. It has been actively seeking access to French technology in the domain for over a decade.

The renewed push by the Chinese side to rekindle the deal comes at a time when France has been leading the pushback against Chinese ambitions in Europe.

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