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Analysis | China’s Xi wades into Europe’s political divides

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The showpiece stop in Chinese President Xi Jinping’s three-nation tour of Europe was France. From Paris to the Pyrenees, Xi and French President Emmanuel Macron engaged in a mutual charm offensive. Xi was on his first visit to Europe in half a decade, and eager to show the Chinese public that China is a major respected power on the world stage at a time of geopolitical confrontation abroad and relative economic stagnation at home. Macron, who reiterated before Xi’s trip the importance of France not being a mere “vassal” to the United States, found in the moment a demonstration of his nation’s potential ability to guide Europe’s “strategic autonomy.”

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