Chirac warns of 'catastrophe' of world'choked' by US values

7th October 2004, Comments 0 comments

HANOI, Oct 7 (AFP) - French President Jacques Chirac warned Thursday of a "catastrophe" for global diversity if the United States' cultural hegemony goes unchallenged.

HANOI, Oct 7 (AFP) - French President Jacques Chirac warned Thursday of a "catastrophe" for global diversity if the United States' cultural hegemony goes unchallenged.  

Speaking at a French cultural centre in Hanoi ahead of Friday's opening of a summit of European and Asian leaders, Chirac said France was right to stand up for cultural and linguistic diversity.  

The outspoken French president warned that the world's different cultures could be "choked" by US values.  

This, he said, would lead to a "general world sub-culture" based around the English language, which would be "a real ecological catastrophe".  

Citing Hollywood's stranglehold over the film industry as an example, Chirac stressed that only with government assistance could countries maintain their cultural heritage.  

Vietnam is a former French colony, but only around 375,000 of its 81 million people speak French. English is considered by most people a far more valuable and practical second language, particularly among businessmen.

© AFP

Subject: French News

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