Macron, on his first visit to China since being elected past year, was due to meet Xi and other Chinese leaders for talks today and Wednesday that his government said also would include issues such as North Korea, the fight against terror financing and climate change.
He noted France was the first Western country to form diplomatic ties with the Communist Beijing government and recalled that then-President Charles de Gaulle and Chinese leader Mao Zedong met in 1964.
Macron said that too often in the past, European countries had come to China with widely varying agendas with some seeking more openness and others wary of more granting more access to their markets.
As a demonstration of the two countries' commitment to multilateralism, Xi and Macron said they will "keep constructive dialogues on global treaties", including biodiversity, nature conservation and protecting marine life.
Le Drian's visit, which was scheduled for January 5, was postponed to a future date two days before the visit would take place.
Matheiu Duchatel, deputy director of the Asia and China Program at the European Council of Foreign Relations said President Macron's visit goes beyond France.
Also this week, a former British prime minister, David Cameron, is scheduled to meet Chinese leaders as head of a 750 million pound ($1 billion) fund to invest in railways, ports and other facilities between China and Britain.
Mr. Macron's boost for Airbus comes as the company is struggling to find buyers for the superjumbo A380, making the fast-growing China market crucial. He and Xi also agreed to pursue a comprehensive and strategic partnership.
During Macron's visit, French power group Areva signed a memorandum of understanding with China National Nuclear Corp for cooperation in nuclear waste processing.
"France imports 45 billion from China but only exports 15 billion, so we have access to markets which is unbalanced, unsatisfying".
Airbus Chief Operating Officer Fabrice Bregier said that the current build rate at the Tianjin construction plant will increase from four planes a month. "Let's open up both instead". However, Airbus has offered China a production role for the first time in an attempt to attract new orders.