This week, for the first time in five years, President Xi Jinping of China is visiting Europe, with stops in France, Serbia and Hungary.

Mr. Xi’s trip comes at a time of tensions with many European countries over China’s support for Russia in the face of its war in Ukraine, its trade practices and its apparent espionage activities. The trip will also test Europe’s delicate balancing act between China and the United States.

Mr. Xi hopes to head off a trade war with the European Union as frictions rise over exports of Chinese electric vehicles and diminished market access for European companies in China. Mr. Xi will also encourage President Emmanuel Macron of France to pursue greater autonomy from the United States in a bid to weaken Washington’s global dominance.

Here is what we know about Mr. Xi’s trip, which began Sunday.

The three countries Mr. Xi will be visiting, experts say, to varying degrees embrace China’s push for a redefined global order. All have to some extent questioned America’s postwar ordering of the world, and are eager to bolster ties with Beijing.

Hungary has close ties to China and is keen to attract Chinese investments in areas like electric car and battery manufacturing as Chinese producers expand beyond Asia. Serbia, too, has warm relations with Beijing and has secured billions of dollars in Chinese investment.

Mr. Xi’s first stop is France, where Mr. Macron recently said that Europe “must never be a vassal of the United States,” and has cast France as a bridge between the “Global South” and Western powers.


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