Emmanuel and Brigitte Macron, hosts of a state dinner for Xi Jinping and Peng Liyuan, with Sophie Marceau and Jean-Michel Jarre

For the first coming to Europe of Xi Jinping for five years, the Élysée has pulled out all the stops. Despite criticism of such a reception for an authoritarian leader accused of organizing a repression of the Uighurs described as “genocide” by some organizations and of supporting Russia Vladimir Poutine in his war in Ukraine, Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte Macron welcomed Xi Jinping And Peng Liyuan for a state dinner on Monday, after a trilateral meeting with the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyenfor the two heads of state, while the First Ladies went to the Musée d’Orsay.

Brigitte Macron and Peng Liyuan at the Musée d’Orsay.

AFP

Brigitte Macron and Peng Liyuan at the Musée d’Orsay.

AFP

The presidential couples were surrounded by guests for this state dinner, including Salma Hayekcame with her husband François-Henri Pinaultbut also Sophie Marceaudirector Jean-Jacques Annaud or the composer Jean Michel Jarre and his wife, the Chinese-Singaporean actress Gong Li. Mireille Mathieu was also photographed on the steps of the Élysée.

Salma Hayek and FrançoisHenri Pinault.

Salma Hayek and François-Henri Pinault.

Christian Liewig – Corbis/Getty Images

Sophie Marceau.

Sophie Marceau.

Christian Liewig – Corbis/Getty Images

This Tuesday, the presidential couples will go to the Col du Tourmalet, in the Hautes-Pyrénées for “a personal sequence” in the words of the Élysée: this legendary place of the Tour de France is well known to the French president, who is there visited regularly in his childhood because his grandmother lived in Bagnères-de-Bigorre. In this setting far from Paris, the aim is to “create a framework for a frank and friendly exchange between the two leaders and their wives”. Also a way for Emmanuel Macron to return the favor to his counterpart: last year, Xi Jinping arranged to meet him for a tea ceremony in Canton, at the residence of the governor of the province of Guangdong, the post that his own father had occupied.

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