Leibniz deserves the honor, frequently bestowed upon him, as the single most important early European interpreter of Chinese philosophy. Yet the story commonly told about this period of philosophical discussion of Chinese philosophy underestimates the importance of Malebranche’s brief encounter with Chinese philosophy and its influence on Leibniz’ interpretation of Chinese thought. In this article, evidence is provided of this influence by first discussing Leibniz’ writings on China prior to his encounter with Malebranche’s Dialogue between a Christian Philosopher and a Chinese Philosopher on the Existence and Nature of God, and then comparing that early work with the Discourse on the Natural Theology of the Chinese, which Leibniz wrote almost immediately after reading Malebranche’s Dialogue.