France Prez Sarkozy wants `confident and friendly` ties with China
French President Nicolas Sarkozy on Friday called for "confident and friendly" relations with China as he wrapped up a state visit aimed at putting past tensions over Tibet to rest.
Shanghai: French President Nicolas
Sarkozy on Friday called for "confident and friendly" relations
with China as he wrapped up a state visit aimed at putting
past tensions over Tibet to rest.
Sarkozy, who finished his trip in Shanghai for the
opening gala of the World Expo, said Paris wanted to expand
cooperation with Beijing on a number of fronts, but would
remain "attentive" to problems faced by business people in
"I wanted to come... because we should have confident
and friendly relations with China," Sarkozy said today.
"There have been in the past some difficulties, some
misunderstandings, and we worked hard to dispel these
misunderstandings without giving up our beliefs," he added,
alluding to the heated row over Tibet.
Relations hit a low point in 2008 when the French
president expressed shock at a Chinese security crackdown in
Tibet in March and later met the Dalai Lama, the Chinese-ruled
region`s exiled spiritual leader.
But during his visit, Sarkozy called China a
"strategic partner" and said he would work with President Hu
Jintao on a variety of issues, from the Iranian nuclear
standoff to global monetary reform.
On Iran, Sarkozy told the Chinese leader that while
dialogue was still an option with Tehran, sanctions had to be
considered as a last resort if the Islamic republic refused to
cooperate with the international community.
"China hopes to use dialogue to solve this problem.
France completely understands China, and we are willing to
discuss this problem together at an appropriate time," Chinese
state media quoted Sarkozy as saying.
"But if dialogue does not work, then we can only use
sanctions," he added at a joint media appearance with Hu on