Chirac tour falls flat for French,
says the Beeb, in what we in the the blogosphere would call a round-up of newspaper articles (it’s not a round-up as we know it since there are no links, of course):
President Jacques Chirac has been busy talking up the advantages of trade with France on his current Asian tour – but back home the newspapers have been lukewarm on his performance.
The French might not be all that thrilled on having their head of state wining and dining away jobs they may perceive as being outsourced, on a junket that will enrich a priviledged very few (55 business men and Jacques), mas oui?
But “flat”, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder, especially when there are huge sums of money involved.
The Chinese government, for instance, got from Chirac French equipment to jam foreign broadcasts into China. Then there’s that Chirac-esque diplomacy, as reported in an Australian Broadcasting Corp. program, this time in reference to the EU arms embargo on China,
But now there’s pressure for the embargo to be lifted, a move spearheaded by French President Jacques Chirac, who today finishes a tour through China, as the ABC’s China Correspondent, John Taylor, reports
Unnoticed by Jacques, China cracks down on free expression in the midst of human rights dialogue with the EU (link via ¡No Pasarán!)
Discussion of human rights abuses has been avoided, with Chirac instead discreetly handing over a list of imprisoned dissidents — played down by French officials as a routine gesture by a visiting European leader. Even the names upon it remained a secret
Maybe it was due to the strain of having to quote Chinese poetry correctly, or possibly the intense business activity kept him distracted, as Chirac’s China Visit Nets $5B in Business
The new contracts between French companies and Chinese partners are worth about $5 billion, and include deals for trains from France’s Alstom SA, water and waste treatment projects, gas stations and the sale of six new passenger jets by Airbus
However, Jacques did find time to dump on the US while in Shanghai. During a speech at the university on Monday, he pushed for stronger economic and political ties with China, saying the countries had an obligation to balance U.S. global influence.
Diplomacy, your language is French.