France's Macron says dialogue between EU and China now stronger

French President Emmanuel Macron attends an EU-China video-conference meeting along with Chinese President Xi Jinping, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and President of the European Council Charles Michel, at the Fort de Bregancon in Bormes-les-Mimosas, France December 30, 2020. Sebastien Nogier/Pool via REUTERS

PARIS (Reuters) - French President Emmanuel Macron said on Wednesday that relations between the European Union and China had strengthened in recent years, following an investment deal that will give European companies greater access to Chinese markets.

“The dialogue between Europe and China has strengthened and become more balanced these past few years. It continues,” Macron said in a statement on Twitter.

The investment agreement was sealed earlier on Wednesday.

According to a transcript of an online meeting between EU leaders and Chinese President Xi Jinping, Macron offered to visit China in the coming months along with German Chancellor Angela Merkel to discuss other areas of cooperation, such as healthcare and the environment.

Reporting by Dominique Vidalon and Sarah White; editing by David Evans