Philippe Le Corre

Philippe Le Corre

Senior Research Fellow, Harvard Kennedy School and ESSEC Business School

Philippe Le Corre is a senior research fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School and ESSEC Business School focusing on China-Europe relations, Chinese overseas investments and China’s global rise. Le Corre’s career spans government, academia, media and business. He was a special assistant for international affairs to the French defence minister, and has also served as a senior policy adviser on Asia within the defence ministry’s directorate for international relations and strategy.

In the private sector, Mr. Le Corre worked as a partner with Publicis Consultants in Paris and Shanghai. For nine years, he also worked in Asia as a foreign correspondent. His recent publications include China’s Belt and Road Initiative: Implications for Europe in China-US-Europe Relations in a New Era (2020) and Covid-19 and the End of European Illusions about China (2020).

People walk near the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France, 10 November 2022. (Gonzalo Fuentes/Reuters)

Not too far, not too close: The French way of handling China

French academic Philippe Le Corre notes that France and China’s fairly close relationship seems to have eroded in recent years, mainly due to market access issues and the gaping trade deficit. While President Macron’s visit in 2023 could change the situation, France currently has no clear advantage over other powers in dealing with China.