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French Election and Sino-European Relations

The French presidential election came to an end recently, with Emmanuel Macron’s victory over the far-right leader Marine Le Pen in the runoff. However, the election revealed the division and fractures in the French political society and the difficulties Macron still faces. A new-generation European politician, Macron has always been ambitious to revitalize the country as a major power. With the reforms he carried out at home and his advocation for European strategic autonomy, France has managed to exert an influence disproportionate to its own strength. In particular, with Angela Merkel having left office, Macron emerged as the de facto head of the EU, dubbed “the Last President of Europe.” As a pragmatic leader, Maron may make a good counterpart in the conversation with China over the coming five years and bring some stability to the choppy relations between China and Europe.

Presided over by Prof. Zhai Kun, deputy director of the Institute of Area Studies, Peking University, the salon invited Prof. Wang Shuo from PKU’s School of International Studies to give a keynote speech on the French presidential election, the connotation of Macronism, the prospect of Macron’s second term as well as the future of Sino-French and Sino-European relations.