Chirac urges closer defence ties with China

20th October 2004, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Oct 20 (AFP) - French President Jacques Chirac, who has urged an end to an EU arms embargo on China, called on Wednesday for closer defense cooperation between Paris and Beijing at a meeting with Chinese Defence Minister Cao Gangchuan, a spokesman said.

PARIS, Oct 20 (AFP) - French President Jacques Chirac, who has urged an end to an EU arms embargo on China, called on Wednesday for closer defense cooperation between Paris and Beijing at a meeting with Chinese Defence Minister Cao Gangchuan, a spokesman said.

Presidential spokesman Jerome Bonnafont said Chirac had "expressed the wish that dialogue and cooperation between the French and Chinese (defence) ministries develop in the spirit of the global strategic partnership between the two countries."

The meeting came 10 days after Chirac wrapped up a state visit to China, and was an unexpected addition to the president's schedule.

Ahead of his China trip, Chirac had reiterated that he wanted to see the EU arms embargo applied after the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre lifted, saying it belonged to "another time".

Cao met French Defence Minister Michele Alliot-Marie on Tuesday during which they agreed to increase military cooperation.

© AFP

Subject: French News

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