• China more interested in Macron’s marriage than his politics

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    BEIJING: China is closely following France’s presidential election, but web users appear less interested in the politics than the unusual marriage between moderate candidate Emmanuel Macron and his former teacher.

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    Comparisons with the characters of a popular Chinese television drama called “In the Name of the People” — which also happens to be the slogan of French far-right candidate Marine Le Pen — have flooded China’s Twitter-like Weibo.

    The main villain of the ripped-from-the-headlines show, which follows the exploits of an anti-corruption squad tackling graft at the highest levels of government, is a dodgy official who marries a woman 10 years his senior in a bid for power.

    Posts using a hashtag about the French politician’s much-discussed marriage — which translates into English as “Marrying his teacher 24 years his senior” — have been viewed more than nine million times on the social media site.

    Despite the seemingly unfavourable comparison to a corrupt official, social media commenters have been largely supportive of 39-year-old Macron’s relationship with his 64-year-old wife Brigitte.

    “Taking a high school teacher and mother as his wife, you can only call this French man a romantic,” one web user said.

    “Age isn’t distance,” said another. “Please don’t make malicious assumptions about others.”

    AFP

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