Chinese President Xi Jinping, left, and France's President Emmanuel Macron...

Chinese President Xi Jinping, left, and France's President Emmanuel Macron attend a welcome ceremony, at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, on April 6, 2023. French President Emmanuel Macron will seek to press China's Xi Jinping to use his influence to move Russia toward ending the war in Ukraine during a two-day state visit to France. Both leaders were also expected to discuss trade disputes over electric cars, cognac and cosmetics. Credit: AP/Thibault Camus

PARIS — How do you smooth over trade tensions with the all-powerful leader of economic powerhouse China? Charm him with a bottle of Cognac, or two.

That seemed to be French President Emmanuel Macron’s strategy with his carefully selected gift list for visiting Chinese President Xi Jinping on Monday.

China recently opened an anti-dumping investigation into European brandy — which mainly means French Cognac. It’s seen as retaliation for EU investigations into Chinese subsidies for electric cars and medical devices.

Those disputes were central to talks between Xi and Macron on Monday. Macron said afterward that he thanked Xi for his “openness about the provisional measures toward French Cognac.”

According to the protocol of formal state visits, the two leaders then exchanged gifts.

Xi presented the French president with a striking stuffed bird, French-language books published in China, and a painting. Macron offered rare volumes by Victor Hugo, the first French-Chinese dictionary, a sculpted glass vase from Amboise — and two bottles of Cognac, a Hennessy X.O. and a prized Louis XIII by Remy Martin.

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