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China, France urge no superpowers

French leader Francois Hollande (left) and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping held trade talks.

reuters

French leader Francois Hollande (left) and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping held trade talks.

BEIJING — President Xi Jinping of China and President Francois Hollande of France pledged to push for a world free of domination by any superpower Thursday as the French leader visited the Chinese capital to boost trade amid his country’s worsening economic problems.

Both leaders stressed their desire for a ‘‘multipolar’’ world that would dilute Washington’s influence — though they did not mention the United States in their comments.

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‘‘China and France are both great countries with a strong sense of independence,’’ Xi said at a news conference, adding that the two countries would ‘‘actively promote a multipolar world and the democratization of international relations.’’

Xi and Hollande, who is traveling with a delegation representing scores of French businesses, spoke to reporters after meeting at Beijing’s Great Hall of the People.

‘‘China and France both want a multipolar world. We want there to be a balance. We refuse a world of powers, and of superpowers,’’ Hollande said. ‘‘When China and France agree on a position, we can drive the world.’’

Officials from the two countries signed a deal for China to buy 60 planes from France-based Airbus. In addition, French nuclear giant Areva signed a pact with China National Nuclear Corp. to build a used fuel treatment and recycling facility in the country.

French businesses are hoping for additional deals in China in areas including car making, nuclear energy, and food exports. France registered a $34 billion trade deficit with China last year and accounts for less than 2 percent of the Asian giant’s foreign trade.

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