China’s president, Xi Jinping, is to visit Europe next week for the first time in five years, in a tour that will take in the unlikely trifecta of France, Hungary and Serbia.

The visit comes as China pushes to avoid a trade war with the EU, while attitudes towards Beijing in the bloc are hardening after multiple spying scandals and China’s ongoing support for Russia in the war in Ukraine.

Xi’s first stop will be Paris. On Monday, he will meet the French president, Emmanuel Macron, and the president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen.