China’s reaction to the election of Emmanuel Macron

China’s reaction to the election of Emmanuel Macron


Melanie Ullrich, Business and Policy Programme Manager

The election of Emmanuel Macron as President of France has been interpreted in China as a major setback to rising populist forces in Europe. After the election of Donald Trump as President of the United States, China has sought allies for its pro-globalisation and pro-free trade campaign, highlighted in Chinese President Xi Jinping’s speech at Davos.

Macron’s election means no disruption for China in their relations with France and the European Union (EU). China has a stake in the stability of the euro. The Chinese Ambassador to Germany admitted concerns that a Marie Le Pen presidency would have put the euro sovereign bonds held by China at risk.

During his campaign, Macron did not articulate a detailed foreign policy plan, but he has signalled India as France’s first strategic partner in Asia. He has already had a phone conversation with Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

France’s relations with China haven’t always been easy and as former Minister for the Economy, Macron was a leading figure in the defence of the EU’s steel industry against Chinese dumping practices.

Xi Jinping congratulated Macron for winning the election and said China was willing to work with France to push the comprehensive Sino-French strategic partnership to a higher level, according to Xinhua.