China’s Xi congratulates Macron on re-election

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China’s President Xi Jinping congratulated his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron on his re-election on Monday, adding to world leaders’ well-wishes after the defeat of far-right leader Marine Le Pen at the polls.

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Macron is the first French president in two decades to win a second term, and is set to begin efforts to unite a deeply divided nation after a battle that saw the far right come its closest yet to taking power.

Xi said he would “like to continue working with President Macron to maintain diplomatic relations based on independence, mutual understanding, foresight and mutual benefit,” according to a readout from state broadcaster CCTV.

The Chinese leader added that he has always viewed China-France relations from a “strategic and long-term perspective”, saying that the healthy and stable development of relations is increasingly important as the global arena undergoes “complex changes.”

World leaders, including those of the United States, European Union, Australia, and India have also welcomed the news of re-election of France’s centrist president.

Macron’s latest victory over his far-right rival, however, was narrower than their last face-off in 2017, dampening celebrations on Sunday night.

Addressing supporters in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower, the 44-year-old leader vowed to heal rifts in the country.

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