Young, Attractive and Energetic Macron Wins Chinese Fans

Fri Apr 07 2023
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BEIJING: French President Emmanuel Macron met a warm welcome from the fans in China on his state visit this week, a sharp contrast to the current anger and protests against pension reforms back home.

Macron’s 3-day visit is intended to strengthen economic relations and press Beijing on the Ukraine crisis — but many in China were charmed by the young (45-year-old) head of state, praising his looks and relaxed demeanour.

A screaming crowd of fans and students greeted Macron in the southern city of Guangzhou on Friday, while social media platforms were bubbled over with posts about his appearance.

He is very approachable and does not have the airs of other heads of state, Yue Liang, a 34-year-old Beijing netizen, told AFP.

Liang said that Macron is a very young and energetic leader and has also made great efforts in many reforms.

The student of French at Beijing’s Alliance, Francaise Liu Xin, said that she loves his voice. He is a president with much charm.

Chinese fans on social media

Multiple hashtags related to Macron’s trips made the top ten most searched items on the popular social media platform Weibo on Friday.

Many Weibo users said they were envious of students at the University of Sun Yat-Sen, Guangzhou, who participated in a question-and-answer session with Macron.

The president and his entourage squeezed through a crowd of university well-wishers, who held up their cell phones and reached out to touch him, fans shrieking in joy as he shook hands.

In videos posted on Webao, people can hear, “I am not gonna wash my hands today”.

A 26-year-old Ye Ziyu, dining at a French restaurant in Beijing’s Sanlitun neighbourhood, said she was also a fan of Macron.

She told AFP that most young people’s first impression of him is his love affair with his wife.

She added that people might not be very knowledgeable about his policies, but they still know a bit about him personally.

The reception given to the French leader has also prompted some on Chinese social media platforms to point out the irony of the embattled Macron finding a brief respite from public love thousands of miles from home.

Chinese youth and students welcome Macron like an idol, but in his own country, students would question him and even throw flour and eggs at him, one Weibo user in Shanghai said in a post on Friday. – AFP

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