China to sever ties with France?
Thursday, December 4, 2008
China has warned French President Nicolas Sarkozy that his upcoming meeting with the Dalai Lama could strain Paris-Beijing ties.
“France should really work hard to change this situation, which will determine the development of our bilateral relations,” China’s foreign ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao said, when asked about Sarkozy’s meeting with Dalai Lama.
Liu said the Saturday meeting would mean harm to trade ties between Paris and Beijing unless Sarkozy called off the meeting.
Sarkozy is scheduled to meet Tibet’s spiritual leader the Dalai Lama in Poland on Saturday.
“We attach great importance to our strategic partnership with France, as well as our business relations with France. These two points are closely related,” Liu told reporters on Thursday.
“Only under the condition of good bilateral relations can we create a sound atmosphere for our business relation,” he added.
The Chinese government earlier cancelled its annual summit with the EU, following the European leaders’ contacts with Tibet’s leader-in-exile.
The 73-year-old Dalai Lama, critical of Chinese policies, seeks a ‘meaningful autonomy’ for Tibet, which China regards as an inseparable province.